Quarterback Cam Newton confirmed his release from the New England Patriots in an Instagram story Tuesday morning.
“I really appreciate all the love and support during this time,” Newton wrote on the social media platform. “But I must say… please don’t feel sorry for me!! #imGOOD”
The Patriots cut Newton ahead of the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline, installing rookie Mac Jones as their Week 1 starter. The two battled for the top job throughout the spring and summer, with Newton starting all three preseason games.
The 32-year-old former NFL MVP started 15 games for the Patriots last season, throwing for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions and rushing for 592 yards and 12 scores. Newton spent his first nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, who drafted him first overall in 2011.
After New England’s preseason finale Sunday night, Jones called Newton a “great teammate.”
“He’s a big mentor for me,” the first-round draft pick said.
Veteran Brian Hoyer is expected to serve as Jones’ primary backup this season, with fellow QB Jarrett Stidham beginning the year on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from back surgery.
Newton now is free to sign with any team.