The Panthers placed Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, on season-ending injured reserve four days later. He appeared in only two games this year and was replaced by Kyle Allen, who won his first four starts this season before losing five of his next six games.
Newton, 30, has one year remaining on his current contract with the Panthers. According to Spotrac, he is scheduled to count $21.1 million against the team's 2020 salary cap.
Before suffering the foot injury, Newton missed only three starts in seven seasons. He previously underwent shoulder surgery in back-to-back off-seasons. If the Panthers decide to move on from the former first-round pick in the 2011 draft, the franchise would clear $19.1 million in cap space.
In two games this season, Newton completed 56.2 percent of his passes for 572 yards and one interception. He added five carries for minus-2 yards and lost two fumbles.
The Panthers (5-7) will travel to play the Atlanta Falcons (3-9) on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.