NFL QBs out: Panthers cut Grier, Patriots release Newton
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 1, 2021
By Rob Maaddi
AP Pro Football Writer
Cam Newton followed Mac Jones along the sideline, holding his right hand up, waiting for the rookie quarterback to slap it after the No. 15 overall pick threw a touchdown in a preseason game Sunday night.
Newton may as well have been congratulating Jones for taking his job.
The New England Patriots released Newton on Tuesday hours before NFL teams reduced rosters to 53 players. Jones, the first QB selected in the first round during Bill Belichick’s 22 seasons in New England, takes over after Newton was a one-year stopgap following Tom Brady’s departure.
Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, headlines the list of players now seeking a new team. He was 7-8 as a starter last season.
Carolina cut quarterback Will Grier, a third-round pick in 2019. The Panthers are going with Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker as their quarterbacks, for now.
The Eagles released wide receiver Travis Fulgham, who had an excellent five-game stretch last season before disappearing from the offense. Veteran running back Jordan Howard also was cut by Philadelphia.
Baltimore released quarterback Trace McSorley, leaving Tyler Huntley as the backup to Lamar Jackson.
The Falcons kept backup quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Feleipe Franks. Rosen, a former first-round pick by Arizona, survived the cuts one week after signing with Atlanta and playing in only one preseason game.
The Browns, a legitimate title contender after so many miserable seasons, surprisingly released wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, had a solid preseason, catching two touchdown passes in the past two games. He’s also been a valuable special teamer. However, he fell behind Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rashard Higgins and rookie Anthony Schwartz on the depth chart as the No. 3 behind Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.
Cleveland also kept defensive tackle Malik McDowell, a former second-round pick by Seattle whose career once seemed over following an ATV accident and two arrests in 2017.
The Chiefs placed offensive lineman Kyle Long, who came out of retirement only to break his tibia at the start of camp, on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
The Detroit Lions left themselves without a kicker, releasing Randy Bullock and Zane Gonzalez.
Tennessee cut wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, a fourth-round pick. The Titans traded up 15 spots to No. 109, swapping their fifth-round pick and seventh-rounder for the receiver, who struggled with dropped passes.
The 49ers cut several veterans, including running back Wayne Gallman, receiver Travis Benjamin, safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix, cornerback Dontae Johnson and tight ends Jordan Matthews and MyCole Pruitt.
The Raiders cut speedy receiver John Brown after signing him earlier this offseason to replace the departed Nelson Agholor. Brown had $3.24 million guaranteed on the one-year deal but fell behind Henry Ruggs III, Bryan Edwards and Zay Jones on the depth chart at outside receiver and was cut.