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Sports Update: Opinion--Cam Newton's Release 4/3/20 By: Adam Ireland

It’s been over a week since the Carolina Panthers released Franchise Quarterback Cam Newton and signed former Vikings and Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater to be the presumptive starter next time the Panthers take the field. But before we get into that let's rewind the clock a little to before free agency and COVID-19 were dominating headlines. On February 25th while at the NFL’s combine in Indianapolis new Panthers coach Matt Rhule said he was looking forward to coaching Cam Newton during the upcoming season. That brought Panther fans some clarity, at least for a little bit regarding what they were going to with the former MVP who only played in two games last year after missing the last two games of the 2018 season. Reports then started to circulate that the Panthers weren’t going to keep Cam Newton around for the 2020 season. It then came out that the Cam Newton’s reps and the Panthers had “agreed” to let Newton seek a trade. Agreed is quoted because it then came out that the Panthers had basically forced Newton to seek a trade which eventually led to his release after most quarterback openings going into the offseason had already been presumably filled. The Panthers did Cam Newton extremely badly especially after all he has done for the franchise and community. I’ve seen stuff floated around that the Panthers aren’t doing a full rebuild but more like a half rebuild. What is a half rebuild? Sounds like a team that’s ok with missing the playoffs but doesn’t want to look like the Dolphins did to start last season. I can understand wanting to get rid of the core players from the Ron Rivera tenure because you want to make your own culture with new fresh faces. But the way they did that in releasing or trading many of the core players was respectable in that they had plenty of time to find new teams especially Greg Olsen who is undoubtedly the best Tight End to play for the Panthers. Why wasn’t the same respect shown to the best QB to ever play for the Panthers and in my opinion greatest player to ever don a Panthers uniform. The Panthers are going to regret treating Newton the way they did. During Newton's tenure with the Panthers with him as the main starting QB they never won fewer than six games and included a stretch of making the playoffs four times in five years. That also included the Panthers second ever trip to the Super Bowl. In the Panthers record book Cam Newton is 1st in many categories while being top five in many other categories. Nothing against Teddy Bridgewater but you can’t just replace a player like Newton that easily and some team is going to get a steal when they sign him.

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