“Stop with the word play! I never asked for it,” Newton wrote in an Instagram reply to the Panthers in his signature mangled text. “There is no dodging this one: I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys! Please do not try and play me, or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this. You forced me into this!”
Like it or not, Newton probably won’t be left with much choice. It sounds like the Panthers are already eyeing potential replacements, as the organization has been connected to veteran Teddy Bridgewater. If the front office misses out on a quarterback in free agency, they could turn their focus to the draft, where they own the seventh-overall pick.
While injuries have derailed Newton’s production in recent years, he’s still a former MVP, and he also led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He’s slated to make just $18.6MM this season, making him a fairly affordable bridge option for a QB-needy team.
Newton was limited to only two games in 2019, but he did make 14 starts in 2018. That season, he connected on a career-high 67.9% of his passes for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. While he’s not nearly as prolific in the running game as he once was, he still managed to compile 488 rushing yards and four scores on 101 attempts.
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