Panthers say Cam Newton can seek trade — QB says didn't request it; Rapoport reports Bridgewater finalizing deal to take over Carolina job
By STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers announced they have given quarterback Cam Newton permission to seek a trade — although the former league MVP responded by saying he never requested one. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday via Twitter the team is moving on from Newton.
“Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy,” Hurney said. "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.”
Newton was quick to respond to the Panthers on social media, saying he didn't ask for the trade.
“Stop the word play!!” Newton tweeted. “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.”
"One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft," Hurney said.
The 31-year-old Newton has battled shoulder and foot injuries the last two seasons and lost his last eight starts for the Panthers.
A former No. 1 overall pick, Newton made the Pro Bowl three times and was the NFL's MVP in 2015 when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He is coming off Lisfranc fracture in his left foot during the offseason and the Panthers previously said they are waiting to see how well he recovers before making a decision on his future.
Ian Rapoport is reporting on Twitter that Teddy Bridgewater is signing with Carolina to become the starting QB.