Free agent quarterback Cam Newton says returning to the Carolina Panthers isn't his only option.
“I have teams that are interested in signing me,” he wrote ESPN in a text on Tuesday. “I am waiting on the best fit as it pertains to winning a championship and getting a fair chance to play.”
Newton, who turns 33 in May, went 0-5 as a starter after rejoining the Panthers last season.
Carolina coach Matt Rhule confirmed Tuesday that he has maintained contact with Newton.
“I love Cam Newton,” Rhule said at the NFL owners meeting in Florida, per ESPN. “He's an amazing leader. He's an amazing football player. Everything we do has to be right for the organization, right for him.”
Last week, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said the “door is open” for Newton to return.
The three-time Pro Bowl selection started 15 games for the New England Patriots (7-8 record) in 2020 after playing his first nine seasons with Carolina.
The #1 overall pick in 2011 and the league MVP in 2015, Newton is the Panthers' franchise passing leader in completions (2,440), attempts (4,106), yards (29,725) and touchdowns (186).
He would face competition in Carolina from Sam Darnold, 24, who went 4-7 in his first season with the Panthers in 2021 after three years with the New York Jets.