A Timeline Of The Cam Newton Saga

Since the Panthers released QB Cam Newton, it's time to take a look at the downfall of Newton's time in Carolina.
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It is unquestionable to determine that Cam Newton is the greatest quarterback in the history of the franchise. He is the only NFL MVP in team history and holds numerous team records that may not be broken for a very long time. His 2015 MVP season is an anomaly that many fans will proudly discuss for generations. However, his time with the team came to an unfortunate end for many Panthers fans to witness. Where did everything go wrong between Newton and the franchise? Let's get into it.

November 2018 - Cam Newton suffers significant shoulder injury.

This is where many people believe things took a turn for the worst in Cam Newton's career. The Panthers were off to a hot 6-2 start to open the 2018 season, and Newton was enjoying (arguably) the best season of his career so far. Then, week ten against the Pittsburgh Steelers happened. Linebacker T.J. Watt gave Newton a nasty illegal hit in the first quarter of the game. It was later determined that Newton suffered a shoulder injury that affected him for the rest of the year. He couldn't make the downfield throws that he used to make with ease, and opponents keyed in on this. Because "Super Cam" was weakened by his significant "Kryptonite" injury, the Panthers finished with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs.

January 2019 - Newton undergoes shoulder surgery.

After the end of the Panthers 2018 season, Cam Newton received shoulder surgery from team doctor, Dr. Pat Connor. Newton had surgery on the same shoulder in 2017 for a torn rotator cuff, but it was less severe. It seemed concerning to many for the quarterback to receive two shoulder surgeries in two years, but many fans were hopeful for a resurgence in the 2019 season.

September 2019 - Newton suffers from Lisfranc injury.

The former MVP was looking forward to a return that changes the minds of critics everywhere who doubted that he would return to his prime form. Unfortunately, he suffered another significant injury early in the 2019 season that sidelined him for the foreseeable future. This time, the quarterback endured a Lisfranc injury, which affects the foot. Footwork is everything for a quarterback. Without the ability to plant his foot in the way that is comfortable, Newton simply couldn't perform on the field.

November 2019 - Panthers place Newton on injured reserve.

After a couple of months, the Panthers determined that Newton would not be able to return from his foot injury, so the team placed him on injured reserve. This all but confirmed that his foot was in much worse shape than initially realized.

December 2019 - Coach Ron Rivera is let go after nine seasons with the Panthers.

Rivera was Newton's head coach for his entire playing career. With Rivera gone, the Panthers seemingly went in a brand new direction. Newton didn't have that close relationship within the organization to rely upon. This may have been a clue for the inevitable rebuild that the Panthers had to face.

December 2019 - Newton undergoes foot surgery.

Newton had to go under the knife once again to begin his recovery from his Lisfranc injury. This opened the front office conversation about the Panthers' quarterback situation, which ultimately led to Newton's release. 

January 2020 - Matt Rhule becomes the new head coach of the Carolina Panthers.

With Rhule taking over as head coach, there was a new era in Carolina. Rhule seemed open to working with Newton at first. However, as time continued, both the fans and media received less and less word of what Rhule's plans were with Newton. This was yet another clue that eventually confirmed that Newton would not be wearing the black and blue in the 2020 season.

March 2020 - Panthers announce that they are open to trading Newton.

In this messy situation, the Panthers announced that they "mutually agreed" with Newton to open trade talks with other teams. This was entirely false, according to Newton. 

March 2020 - Panthers sign quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker

The three-year $63 million signing of QB Teddy Bridegwater all but confirmed the Carolina front office's decision with the quarterback situation. Allow me to also note the fact that the Panthers announced the decision to move on from Newton under two hours before signing Bridgewater. In addition to this, the team signed QB P.J. Walker from the XFL. This sent a clear message that Newton's services at quarterback were no longer required by the Panthers.

March 2020 - Panthers release Cam Newton from the team.

After months of speculation, the inevitable happened. Initially, the Panthers were interested in trading the quarterback, but his market value was seemingly too low for the Panthers to receive anyone beneficial in return. This ended Newton's time in Carolina. Newton deserved a much better ending than he received, but it is what it is. Hopefully, he will receive another opportunity to shine with another organization.

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