Former Panthers Fullback Mike Tolbert Says Team Mismanaged Cam Newton’s Injuries For Years

Former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is still a free agent after the team released him two weeks into free agency.

Some will tell you that the league is a business and you have to deal with what happened and how it happened.

But Panthers fans and former Panthers players are not happy with how the team treated their former franchise quarterback.

Former Panthers offensive tackle Jordan Gross said the following to Joseph Person of The Athletic:

It would have been better for Cam to have more time in free agency before it began. And now especially — nobody knew we were all gonna be in lockdown. Anybody that’s coming off an injured season needs to have hands-on by teams for them to feel good about you. And Cam’s that by 10 times more because of his injury history. So teams are going to be cautious about doing any kind of signing because their ability to see him in person is limited. You can have a doctor’s note saying you’re limited. But every team in the world is gonna want to have their own guys check him out.

Former Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert, who played with Newton in Carolina from 2012 to 2016, took it a step further and said Newton was treated unfairly even before the release. 

They’ve been doing him wrong timing-wise for the past two or three years, if you ask me. It goes back to his shoulder surgery. Everyone knew his shoulder was messed up in the middle of the year two years ago. But they wait until offseason gets ready to start to have shoulder surgery. Makes no sense. Timing’s off. As soon as he got hurt (last) preseason against the Patriots, they were saying, “Oh, he’s got a high ankle sprain.” I looked at it on film carefully. It’s not a high ankle sprain, you could tell that 10 minutes after the play. You knew it’s a mid-foot sprain, Lisfranc, something like that. But you wait ‘til December for him to beg you to have surgery. He shouldn’t have been out there Week 1 and 2. He shouldn’t have been out there probably ‘til Week 4 or 5, at minimum.

New Panthers head coach Matt Rhule told reporters at the Combine that Newton would be on the team for the 2020 season.

A few weeks later, the Panthers agreed to terms with Teddy Bridgewater on a big three-year deal and Rhule explained that Bridgewater was a good fit for the offense they plan on running.

The whole situation was handled poorly and it’s understandable why some are not happy with the organization. All the notable veteran free agent quarterbacks have signed with new teams this offseason, most recently being Joe Flacco to the Jets. Cam Newton is the last one remaining.

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