The Panthers released the former NFL Most Valuable Player on Tuesday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo reported. The team later made Cam's cut official.
"Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. "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."
Carolina announced last Tuesday that it had allowed Newton to seek a trade. With few potential landing spots, no leverage, and major questions about his health, none materialized. The team moved on a week later.
Newton earned the 2015 NFL MVP award and was named to three Pro Bowls during his run in Carolina.
It all deteriorated quickly for the hulking quarterback, however, as injuries took their toll over the past three seasons.
Newton underwent multiple shoulder surgeries and missed all but two games in 2019 due to a foot injury that ultimately required a procedure.
The lingering health questions left no team willing to part ways with draft assets to acquire a quarterback on the last year of his contract and one who would likely have wanted an extension.
Weeks later, the Panthers reversed gears, announcing last week that Newton could seek a trade -- phrasing the quarterback rejected, saying the team "forced me into this," in what can only be described as a bitter divorce spat. The same day, Carolina already had a replacement, signing Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract, with $33 million fully guaranteed at signing.
Turning 31 in May, Newton enters a quarterback market flush with options and few starting chairs left. The Chicago Bears already traded for Nick Foles to compete with Mitchell Trubisky. The Los Angeles Chargers insist they're rolling with Tyrod Taylor (and potentially a draft pick). New England recently signed veteran Brian Hoyer, potentially to compete with Jarrett Stidham for a starting job.
With the NFL's current policy restricting player physicals, it could be difficult for Newton to find a home quickly.
When he is able to land on a squad, questions will linger about what type of quarterback that new team is getting. Is it the bulldozing force who whipped darts off his backfoot, was a menace on the ground and was the biggest red-zone threat in football? Or is it the injury-plagued player who struggled to make throws more than five yards out?
Newton's journey in Carolina is over. Where he goes next is a question that could linger.