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QB Cam Newton signs deal returning to the Carolina Panthers

In Newton’s nine seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns, and ran for 58 touchdowns.
Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 12:09 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 7:05 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers announced that they have agreed to terms with quarterback Cam Newton, bringing the former No. 1 overall pick back to Charlotte.

General manager Scott Fitterer says Newton officially passed his physical and signed his contract.

“Cam is coming in here to play. When you have competition like that it makes everyone raise their game,” Fitterer said.

Ian Rapoport with NFL Network reports that the Panthers are giving Cam Newton a one-year deal worth up to $10 million for the rest of year. It includes $4.5 million fully guaranteed and a $1.5 million roster bonus.

The Panthers tweeted this video Thursday with the caption “Brought him home”. Newton retweeted a similar video from his own account.

Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said he spoke with Newton on the phone Tuesday night about a return and Newton “emphatically” said yes.

“This isn’t about anything other than winning,” Rhule said. “Our fans aren’t paying money to watch us win in two years. At the same time, you’re trying to build a Super Bowl-caliber team. So it’s a balancing act of doing what’s right long term and trying to win at the same time. Many times those are the same thing.”

In an article titled “Why the Panthers brought back Cam Newton”, Panthers.com says signing their former QB1 “gives them an opportunity to stabilize their offense at a time when so many other things are going well, and the playoffs are still a realistic possibility with nearly half the season remaining.”

“There are no guarantees the 32-year-old Newton could be a long-term answer. But this isn’t about the years to come, or the things he’s done in the past. This is about now, and maximizing the opportunity for the 2021 Panthers,” a Panthers.com article read.

Newton dealt with injuries, including shoulder surgery during his previous tenure with the team but Fitter says his shoulder checked out okay on Thursday.

“Maybe he loses a step here (and there), but he makes up for it with his mind. His game has evolved. He has really grown into it,” Fitterer said. “He works hard at it, he’s a professional.”

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.

Rhule said Walker will still start on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and it’s uncertain whether Newton will be active. Fitterer that Rhule will make that decision.

“Cam is just smart. He can just translate so it should pretty quickly,” Rhule said.

When asked about what he saw in Newton to bring him back, Rhule simply said “the tape.”

“Sometimes you just need a chance to get healthy and he had a chance to truly get healthy,” Rhule said. “So, I’m excited to see what he does.”

If Newton doesn’t play Sunday, his first game would come against the Washington Football Team at Bank of America Stadium on Nov. 21.

Reports began to surface Thursday morning when Charlotte Observer reporter Jonathan M Alexander broke the news that Newton would meet with head coach Matt Rhule, owner David Tepper and vice president of football operations Steven Drummond.

The 32-year-old quarterback has been a free agent since the New England Patriots released him in August.

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.

Newton won the NFL offensive rookie of the year award in 2011, and NFL MVP in 2015, when he led the team to a 15-1 record and the Super Bowl.

He’s also the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 70,

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