Cam Newton “forever grateful” to Ron Rivera

Michael David Smith
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The Panthers fired coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday, and Cam Newton is sorry to see him go.

Newton, who has played for Rivera since the Panthers selected him with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, wrote on Instagram that he’ll miss playing for the only NFL head coach he’s had.

“Will be forever grateful because of the impact you had on my life,” Newton wrote. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity. Thank you for believing in me. I can go on and on but most importantly, thank you for allowing me to be me.”

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Newton added that “This one hurt deep.”

What we don’t know is who will be the next head coach in Carolina, and whether that coach will want Newton to be his franchise quarterback. Newton is under contract to the Panthers for one more season, and his 2020 cap hit of $21.1 million is not overly high by franchise quarterback standards. But a new coach may want to implement a new offense and bring in his own quarterback to run it.

If Rivera is hired elsewhere, it wouldn’t be surprising to see that team also trade for Newton. It’s possible that the two of them aren’t finished working together.

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