Newton granted permission to seek trade from Panthers
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The Carolina Panthers gave Cam Newton permission to seek a trade after general manager Marty Hurney met with the quarterback to discuss his future, the team announced Tuesday.

Carolina is reportedly showing very strong interest in free-agent passer Teddy Bridgewater as Newton's replacement, sources told ESPN's Dianna Russini.

A deal would end the former MVP's nine-year tenure with the Panthers.

"One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft," Hurney said in a statement. "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."

Shortly following the Panthers' announcement, Newton implied that he in fact never wanted to be dealt.

"Stop with the word play," he wrote on Instagram. "I never asked for (a trade). 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."

Newton missed 14 games last season with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot, and he also dealt with a shoulder ailment in 2018. His recent injury history made many question whether Carolina would commit to him long term.

New Panthers head coach Matt Rhule and his staff had reportedly been encouraged by the quarterback's commitment to rehabbing his foot injury, but appear set to move in a different direction regardless.

Reports also surfaced in February that Rhule's squad was moving forward with the presumption that the 30-year-old would be its starter in 2020.

Newton enjoyed one of his best statistical campaigns in 2018, setting a career high in completion percentage (67.9%) while totalling 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, before injuries derailed 2019.

Newton granted permission to seek trade from Panthers
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