Cam Newton Says 'They Gave Up on Me' in Instagram Video After Panthers Release

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton warms up before an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)
David Richard/Associated Press

Free-agent quarterback Cam Newton seemed to have a loud and clear message for the Carolina Panthers in an Instagram video he posted Thursday.

In the video, Newton said, "They gave up on me," which is likely a reference to the Panthers releasing him this week:

Newton spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Panthers, but after he struggled through injuries the past two seasons, Carolina signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year contract and parted ways with the 30-year-old veteran.

While Newton is a three-time Pro Bowler who won the NFL MVP award in 2015 and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl that season, the past two years have not gone as well as planned.

Newton missed the final two games of the 2018 campaign with a shoulder injury after seemingly struggling to throw down the field for much of the season. He followed that up by playing in only two games last season before undergoing foot surgery.

With questions surrounding his ability to get healthy and return to his dual-threat ways, the Panthers decided to move on from Newton and go with the younger Bridgewater under new head coach Matt Rhule.

The Panthers tried to trade Newton, but when there were no takers, they released him instead. The organization publicly announced that it had granted Newton permission to seek a trade, but the former Auburn standout responded by writing "I never asked for it" on Instagram.

Now, Newton is the most high-profile quarterback on the free-agent market along with Jameis Winston, although there seemingly aren't many teams in need of a starting quarterback.

With the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins both likely to take a quarterback early in the 2020 draft, the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers stand out as the main teams that would benefit from signing a veteran like Newton.

The Chargers appear committed to Tyrod Taylor as their veteran signal-caller, though, and they could be in line to select a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Jordan Love early in the draft as well.

That leaves the Patriots as the most obvious fit following the departure of Tom Brady. Currently, the Pats' quarterback room consists of veterans Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler and second-year man Jarrett Stidham.

There are major question marks surrounding Newton's health, but if the Patriots get positive reports on that front, it would be worth gambling on the former MVP given the other options at their disposal.

A reunion with former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera in Washington to help mentor Dwayne Haskins or an opportunity to compete with Gardner Minshew II as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars may also be worth exploring, but Newton will likely be forced to play the waiting game for now.

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