Panthers Grant Cam Newton Permission to Seek a Trade

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The Panthers will allow quarterback Cam Newton to seek a trade this offseason, the team announced Tuesday.

Carolina general manager Marty Hurney met with Newton and his representation to discuss the plan.

"One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft," Hurney said in a statement. "Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts."

Shortly after the Panthers' announcement, Newton took to social media to reply to the team's statement.

"I never asked for it," he said. "Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this; you forced me into this."

Earlier this offseason the Panthers stayed quiet about Newton's future with the team. In December NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Carolina would attempt to trade Newton if it received "a large deal."

Newton has dealt with multiple injuries during his nine-year career with the Panthers, who drafted him in 2011. He was sidelined after Week 2 last season due to the Lisfranc fracture in his left foot he suffered during the preseason.

The Auburn product is owed $18.6 million in 2020 and will become a free agent in 2021, barring a contract extension.

Newton has gone 68–55–1 in his career, leading the Panthers to the playoffs four times. He helped Carolina reach Super Bowl 50 in February 2015 but lost to the Broncos. Newton is the Panthers' franchise leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.