NEWS: Cam Newton to meet with Carolina Panthers

Free agent QB Cam Newton is reportedly set to meet with the Carolina Panthers on a potential reunion.

The quarterback-needy Carolina Panthers are reportedly set to meet with a familiar face. Jonathan Alexander of the Charlotte Observer reported this morning that Cam Newton is set to meet with Panthers head coach Matt Rhule, owner David Tepper and VP of football operations Steven Drummond, today.

The 32-year-old Newton has been a free agent since August, when the New England Patriots released him; electing to go with rookie quarterback Mac Jones.

After starting the 2021 season with a 3-0 record, Carolina has lost 5 out of their last 6 games. And to make matters worse, Panthers starting quarterback Sam Darnold is set to miss 4-6 weeks due to a fracture in his right shoulder. Prior to the injury, Darnold has not truly proven that he’s the answer in Carolina. Between the bad turnovers and inconsistencies we’ve seen from Darnold this season, a potential reunion with Newton makes some sense for both sides.

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On Wednesday, Rhule stated that the team would explore “any and all options” at the quarterback position. And bringing back perhaps the most prominent player in franchise history, would certainly be a popular choice amongst the fans too.

Carolina currently sits last in a competitive NFC South division. However, the Panthers (4-5) still feel they have a team capable of making some noise in the second half of the season. With a young rising defense and several playmakers on offense, proficient quarterback play could be the difference between contending for an NFC wildcard spot and a lost season completely.

Since being released by the team that drafted him first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton has had his fair share of ups and downs. After signing with New England late in the 2020 offseason, Newton started 15 games for the Patriots, going 7-8 in that span. Newton struggled in the passing game, throwing for 2,657 passing yards with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Newton did however, display some mobility last season as he rushed for 592 yards with 12 rushing touchdowns.

Newton’s tenure in New England surely wasn’t ‘vintage Cam’ as we saw throughout his career in Charlotte. But if Newton still has a little game left in him, he could provide the Panthers with a much-needed spark.

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Newton is now vaccinated, so if Carolina signs him today, he could join the team and practice immediately. Panthers face the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals this week and meet their former head coach – Ron Rivera – the following week in a matchup with Washington Football team.

It’s impossible to gauge how healthy Newton is, or how much football he has left in him. But at the very least, a return to Carolina could give Newton what Panthers fans know he’s always wanted. The opportunity to potentially finish his career in the city he loves, with the fans he adores.

Maybe a few more scooter rides through downtown Charlotte, too.

Update at 12:04pm: It’s official, the Carolina Panthers have signed Cam Newton. He’s back.