CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers have released quarterback and former NFL MVP Cam Newton after nine seasons, the team announced Tuesday.
The No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton ends his time in Carolina as the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (29,041), passing touchdowns (182), pass attempts (3,980), pass completions (2,371), 300-yard passing games (19), rushing touchdowns (58) and wins by a quarterback (68).
“Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “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.”
Newton posted on Instagram shortly after his release, with a caption stating, “I’m free and hungry. No pity party, just work."
On Tuesday, March 17, the Panthers announced that Newton was given the team’s permission to seek a trade. That announcement came after Newton and his representatives met with General Manager Marty Hurney.
A week later, Newton posted a photo on Instagram, stating “when you are a warrior in battle... you never count the days battled. YOU JUST GET UP EVERYDAY AND FIGHT!!”
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” Hurney said. “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.”
In 2015, Newton became the first player in franchise history to be selected as NFL MVP and added AP Offensive Player of the Year honors.
He helped lead the Panthers to an NFC Championship and appearance in Super Bowl 50. Newton became the first player in NFL history with at least 30 passing touchdowns (35) and 10 rushing touchdowns (10) in a single season.
A three-time Pro Bowler (2011, 2013, 2015), Newton won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year when he established a single-season NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (14) and became the first player in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in a single season.
Newton has played in 125 career regular season games with 124 starts. He has started all seven postseason games in his career. Newton earned a record of 68-55-1 and 3-4 in the postseason as the Panthers starting quarterback.