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Carolina Panthers bring back former MVP QB Cam Newton

Cam Newton returns to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday on a $10 million one-year contract, while QB Sam Darnold is sidelined for four to six weeks.

Update:
Cam Newton returns to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday on a $10 million one-year contract, while QB Sam Darnold is sidelined for four to six weeks.
GRANT HALVERSONAFP

The Carolina Panthers are reuniting with their former MVP quarterback, as the team announced the signing of Cam Newton on Thursday.

Newton played for the Panthers from 2011 to 2019 and after being released by them in 2020, he signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots.

He now returns as no stranger to the franchise with a one-year contract worth up to $10 million, including a fully guaranteed $4.5 million and a $1.5 million roster bonus, according to Ian Rapoport's reports.

Newton was the Panthers QB for 9 seasons

The Panthers have been struggling this season with quarterback Sam Darnold, who’s been battling a shoulder injury that now has him sidelined for several weeks. So bringing back a familiar quarterback seems like just what the Panthers are looking for right now, in addition to quarterbacks P.J. Walker and newly acquired Matt Barkley.

Newton played for the Panthers for nine seasons, won the Rookie of the Year as well as the 2015 MVP award, and helped lead the organization to Super Bowl 50. In addition, he sits third on the Panthers' all-time rushing list (4,806), and he leads the franchise with his 58 rushing touchdowns.

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Although his stellar quarterback performance is undoubted, he has struggled with shoulder and ankle injuries in the past few seasons that have not allowed him to perform at his best.

In the 2020 season with the Patriots, Newton’s shoulder continued to complicate his performance while he started in 15 games, ran for 12 scores and had only eight TDs passing.

While his release by the Patriots in August was a surprise, one of the reasons reportedly shared was Newton not being vaccinated.

Newton said he still gets “that urge to go out and perform and do something that I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old,” so he is now vaccinated and ready to go.

Will Cam Newton start for the Panthers Sunday?

With Newton joining the team on Thursday, it’s likely that the Panthers won’t start him in Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday that quarterback P.J. Walker is expected to start Sunday’s game, while Matt Barkley sits as his backup.

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