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Panthers Release QB Cam Newton After Nine Seasons

The Panthers have released quarterback Cam Newton, the team announced Tuesday.

"Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas," general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. "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."

Newton's release comes after the team recently announced it gave the Auburn product permission to seek a trade. Carolina said Hurney met with Newton and his representation to discuss the plan. However, shortly after the Panthers shared the news, Newton took to social media to say he did not request to leave.

"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."

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The Panthers tried to send Newton to the Bears or Chargers but were unable to land a deal. There are no starting quarterback jobs available and releasing Newton was the only option, according to the MMQB's Albert Breer.

Earlier this offseason the Panthers stayed quiet about Newton's future with the team. In December, the 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 last season after Week 2 due to the Lisfranc fracture in his left foot he suffered during the preseason.

He 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.