Quarterback Cam Newton has been released by the Carolina Panthers after nine years with the franchise.
Newton, 30, was named the NFL’s most valuable player for 2015 after leading the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 where they lost to the Denver Broncos.
He has struggled with shoulder and foot injuries in recent seasons, playing just two games in 2019.
Last week the Panthers gave Newton permission to seek a trade but a deal was not agreed.
“Cam has meant a lot to this organisation and the Carolinas,” general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement.
“Everyone saw his performances on the field. I had the privilege of seeing how hard he worked off the field, and his commitment to this team when no one was watching.
“He willed this team to victory on many occasions and will always be considered one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise.”
NFL doctors are not currently conducting physicals on potential signings until the coronavirus crisis has passed.
In an Instagram comment to a Panthers post announcing his potential trade, Newton said: “Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this: You forced me into this.”
- Brady avoids criticism of Patriots
- Tom Brady joins Tampa Bay: What now for Patriots & Bill Belichick? Jason Bell Q&A
Carolina are set to announce the signing of Teddy Bridgewater, who is a free agent after being the league’s highest-paid back-up quarterback last season with the New Orleans Saints.
They are the latest quarterbacks to move at the start of free agency, with the biggest deal seeing six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady leave the New England Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Philip Rivers has joined the Indianapolis Colts after ending a 16-year spell with the Los Angeles Chargers while the Jacksonville Jaguars are trading Nick Foles, the Super Bowl 52 MVP, to the Chicago Bears.
- Tom Brady signs for Tampa Bay Buccaneers – how social media reacted