In the comments of the Panthers' Instagram post announcing that the team had given him "permission to seek a trade," Newton issued a response, arguing that the organization forced him into this situation.
"Stop with the word play," he wrote. "I never asked for it. 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."
Former Panthers tight end Greg Olsen also responded to the same Instagram post, writing, "Sounds familiar."
Olsen suggests that, like Newton, he was forced into leaving. The Panthers eventually released him in February.
Regardless of which side is at fault, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. Last January, Newton underwent surgery on his right shoulder, a red flag for a quarterback who throws with that same arm.
Newton was able to return by Week 1 of the 2019 campaign, but his season was cut short when he suffered a Lisfranc fracture that sidelined him in week 3. Cam was placed on injured reserve two months later, when the Panthers claimed the injury wasn’t healing as quickly as expected.
With former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera in Washington, and Matt Rhule now at the helm, Carolina appears to be looking for a signal caller that fits their new coach’s offense. So before the dust from the Newton news even settled, the Panthers moved quickly to acquire their new quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, according to Ian Rapoport.
This post will be updated.