Cam Newton will pay a visit to the Panthers in the hopes of reuniting with his old teammates.
Carolina’s effort to revive Sam Darnold’s career has failed, and the club is considering a reunion with a familiar face.
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, free-agent quarterback Cam Newton is slated to visit with the Panthers about a return to Charlotte.
The Charlotte Observer broke the story first.
Newton last appeared for the Panthers in 2019, starting two games before being sidelined with a foot issue. Carolina let Newton go in the summer, forcing him to look for work elsewhere until arriving in New England. The Patriots let him go at the conclusion of the 2021 preseason, giving the reins to rookie Mac Jones, while Carolina kept Darnold after obtaining him in a trade in the summer.
Newton has been a free agent since being released by the Patriots, waiting for the proper chance to return to the NFL with a club in need. Newton was vaccinated during his layoff, reducing concerns about losing considerable playing time due to a positive COVID-19 test and making him a more appealing signing for prospective clubs. According to Rapoport, because of his improved vaccination status, Newton could join the Panthers and begin practicing immediately rather of being put into the NFL’s entrance process for unvaccinated new players.
Darnold’s broken scapula caused the Panthers to put him on injured reserve after five weeks of terrible performance, which includes Darnold throwing eight interceptions between Weeks 5-9 and being benched in the Panthers’ Week 7 defeat to the New York Giants. Darnold’s three interceptions in Carolina’s Week 9 defeat to New England seemed to be a watershed moment for the 4-5 Panthers, and his shoulder injury hastened a change at quarterback.
Newton, who failed in his last few seasons to repeat his once-elite performance from his greatest days as a Panther, including an MVP season in 2015 that ended in a trip to Super Bowl 50, might potentially be a part of that transformation. If he signs with Carolina this week, he’ll be part of a club that faces the NFC’s best team, the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals, this weekend.
The next week will include a game against the Washington Football Team, which will mean a reunion with Newton’s old coach in Carolina, Ron Rivera. Rivera chose to pursue Newton when he left the Patriots, and Washington has been relying on backup Taylor Heinicke as their starter after veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered an early injury.
Newton may return to Queen City just in time for that fiery romance.
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