In any other offseason, a team simply releasing a former MVP quarterback would have been the biggest story in the league.
This offseason, the Panthers’ handling of Cam Newton didn’t resonate the same way, and it still hasn’t been actually explained.
Via Joe Person of TheAthletic.com, Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney wouldn’t get into any specifics when asked why they made the decision to move on from Newton, dangling him in a futile attempt for a trade and then just cutting him.
“This was probably one of the most difficult [decisions].” Hurney said. “As soon as we [decided to trade him], I called Cam’s representatives and told them we were going to start calling teams to see if there was trade interest in Cam.”
Hurney said that decision was made the day before the team announced that Newton had permission to seek a trade, which Newton responded to by saying he never asked for one.
With teams unable to give Newton a physical because of the coronavirus outbreak, and uncertainty about his surgically repaired foot and shoulder, there was no market.
“Once we made that decision — and it was a lot of thought and communication that went into it — we let Cam know immediately,” Hurney said.
The Panthers replaced him with Teddy Bridgewater, a new quarterback that came with a new coach and offensive coordinator. But the reasons why they felt compelled to part ways with the best quarterback they’ve ever employed will apparently go unsaid.