Injured Panthers quarterback Cam Newton took to Instagram Tuesday to voice his opinion on the team’s decision to fire head coach Ron Rivera.
“Will be forever grateful because of the impact you had on my life. Thank you for giving me an opportunity. Thank you for believing in me. I can go on and on but most importantly, thank you for allowing me to be me,” Newton wrote.“This one hurt deep.”
Rivera was fired in a move team owner David Tepper said was the “best decision for the long-term success of our team.”
Newton’s first season coincided with Rivera’s first year in Carolina. The now-fired Rivera had been Newton’s head coach throughout his first nine NFL seasons.
During the duo's nine years together, Carolina won three NFC South titles and the 2015 NFC Championship en route to a Super Bowl 50 appearance against the Broncos. Newton won the NFL MVP that same season.
The 30-year-old Newton hasn’t played since Carolina’s loss to the Buccaneers in Week 2 and is currently on injured reserve with a foot injury.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Panthers’ next head coach will “loom large” in the future of Carolina’s quarterback position.