Panthers release former MVP Cam Newton

The Panthers have released Cam Newton, with the team announcing the news in a statement Tuesday afternoon. 

"Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas," said Panthers general manager Marty Hurney. "Everyone saw his performances on the field. I had the privilege of seeing how hard he worked off the field, and his commitment to this team when no one was watching. He's the ultimate competitor and it physically hurts him to lose. He willed this team to victory on many occasions and will always be considered one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise. His contributions to this team, this community and the game of football will leave a lasting impact on our organization." 

The Panthers announced earlier this month that they were giving Newton, the team's starting quarterback since the 2011 season, permission to seek a trade. Instead of a trade, Newton will now get a chance to choose his next team on the open market. Newton is coming off a foot injury that kept him sidelined for the majority of the 2019 season. Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, won league MVP honors in 2015 after helping the Panthers win 15 regular season games en route to an appearance in Super Bowl 50.

CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones reported on March 18 that the Panthers received interest from the Chicago Bears, but the "expectation is that Newton will be released in the coming days." 

The Panthers have made several recent moves at the quarterback position. Last week, they came to terms on a three-year deal with Teddy Bridgewater. On Monday, Carolina signed former XFL standout P.J. Walker. They also traded Kyle Allen, who started 12 games in relief of Newton last season, to the Redskins for a fifth round pick. Allen will be reunited in Washington with Ron Rivera, who parted ways with the Panthers near the end of the 2019 season. 

While several QB positions have already been filled (most notably Phillip Rivers to the Colts and Tom Brady to the Buccaneers), a possible landing spot for Newton could be the Patriots, who recently brought back backup quarterback Brian Hoyer

A former No. 1 overall pick, Newton has a 71-59-1 career record as a starting quarterback. He has thrown for 29,041 yards (completing 59.6% of his passes) with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. One of the most mobile quarterbacks in league history, Newton has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in league history to throw 35 touchdowns and run for 10 scores in the same season. 

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