After abruptly releasing Cam Newton last year, the Carolina Panthers took a bite of some humble pie, bringing the No. 1 overall pick back to where his career started.
The Panthers agreed to terms with Newton that consists of a one-year deal up to $10 million for the rest of the year and 4.5 million guaranteed and 1.5 million roster bonus.
Since Newton left the Panthers, they haven’t had success or stability at the quarterback position moving on from Teddy Bridgewater last season. Additionally, Newton’s stint in New England recently ended and he has been on the market ever since.
Now with starter Sam Darnold out four to six weeks with a shoulder injury, the Panthers’ only other quarterbacks on the active roster were P.J. Walker and recently acquired Matt Barkley.
At 4-5, there is still a chance for the team to make the playoffs with Christian McCaffrey returning and other offensive weapons such as DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. The Panthers also rank second in the NFL in total defense.
In a press conference on Wednesday, Carolina coach Matt Rhule said: “My job is to try to win right now. There are four teams in the NFC with more than six wins. Everyone else is about like us. Lots of teams right now in the NFL are trying to figure out how to get past .500, and have a good year and win in the second half of the year…My job is to try to win.”
In Newton’s nine seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns, and ran for 58 touchdowns. He’s the team’s all-time leader in all three categories, and he’s also third on the team’s all-time rushing list with 4,806 yards, trailing only Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.
Newton won the NFL offensive rookie of the year award in 2011, and league MVP honors in 2015, when he led the team to a 15-1 record and a berth in the Super Bowl.
He’s also the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 70, 12 of which came last year in 15 starts with the Patriots.