The Carolina Panthers have released the long-time face of their franchise, Cam Newton

The Carolina Panthers have presumably made their final quarterback move of the offseason: they released Cam Newton.

The Panthers officially rerouted their franchise on Tuesday, cutting bait with their starting quarterback of nine seasons.

Over the past week, the Panthers have signed quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and P.J. Walker, and traded quarterback Kyle Allen. All that was left to do was either trade or release Newton.

However, reports suggest that the Panthers were finding it difficult to get a good return for the 30-year-old Newton in a trade.

With his release, Newton will now join a group of other former No. 1 picks available on the free agent market.

He will also join a group of quarterback talents looking for a fresh start.

After winning a national title at Auburn in 2010, Newton was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and immediately set the league on fire.

Literally – in his first NFL game, Newton was on fire.

Despite finishing his rookie season at 6-10, Newton was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and was selected to the Pro Bowl, after passing for 4,576 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also rushed for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In the following years, Newton’s career continued to trend up. He was once again named to the Pro Bowl in 2013, leading the Panthers to a 12-4 record and a playoff berth.

But it was all a precursor to Newton’s breakout 2015 season.

In 2015, Newton became legend.

He led Carolina to 14 consecutive wins to begin the season, finishing 15-1 in the regular season. The Panthers then beat Seattle in the Divisional Round and Arizona in the NFC championship to advance to the Super Bowl, where they fell to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

Still, Newton was on top of the world. He was named NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named First-Team All-Pro and selected to his third Pro Bowl.

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In fact, Newton was so good that entering the 2016 season, NFL.com dubbed him the No. 1 player in the NFL.

However, things began to trend in the opposite direction after that incredible 2015 campaign.

In his first five NFL seasons, Newton led the Panthers to the playoffs three times, but in the last four years, Carolina only qualified for the postseason once.

In addition, Cam only missed two games due to injury during his first five years. Over the last four seasons, he missed 17 games, 14 of which came in 2019.

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Even though his release happened on Tuesday, it was clear last week that the Panthers were moving in a different direction at QB when the team inked Bridgewater to a long-term deal, which Bridgewater signed on Monday.

Newton is the Carolina Panthers franchise leader in completions, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He also holds the record for most rushing touchdowns in NFL history by a quarterback.

Newton’s next stop is still up in the air.

But his journey to return to form has already begun.