Cam Newton agreed to a shocking deal on Thursday to return to the Carolina Panthers. After over two months out of the league, the former No. 1 overall pick will go back to the place where his career in the NFL began.
The deal should be beneficial for both sides. Newton needs an opportunity to prove that he can still play in the NFL, while the Panthers are desperately in need of quarterback help after starter Sam Darnold sustained a significant shoulder injury.
It wasn’t so much the signing that shocked the NFL world, but instead how quickly a deal seemed to come together. The first major reports of Newton meeting with the Panthers came on Thursday morning and by noon he had signed a one-year contract, worth up to $10 million.
Although it appeared like everything came together in a matter of hours, Matt Rhule revealed that negotiations with the 32-year-old quarterback had gone on throughout the week. The Panthers head coach revealed on Thursday that he first called Newton on Monday night to see if he had any interest in coming back to Carolina, according to The Athletic’s Joe Person.
Rhule said that the 2015 MVP “emphatically said yes” in response.
Matt Rhule says he called Cam Newton on Monday night, asked if he had any interest in returning. “He emphatically said yes.”
— Joe Person (@josephperson) November 11, 2021
Newton’s new deal means that he’ll get to play for Rhule for the first time in his career. The former Baylor head coach joined the Panthers in 2020, soon after the former No. 1 overall pick left the organization.
Newton went on to have a underwhelming year with the New England Patriots in 2020. After throwing just eight touchdown passes and 10 interceptions last season, he was released this summer after losing out on the starting job to rookie Mac Jones.
Rhule will now have to find a way to best use Newton in the coming days. The Panthers head coach said it’s unlikely that the former MVP will play this Sunday, but he’ll surely be in the running to start in the next few weeks.
Time will tell exactly what impact Newton can make in Carolina soon enough.
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