Quarterback Cam Newton has officially returned to the Carolina Panthers. The MVP of the 2015 NFL season was re-signed by his former team two weeks ago and made an immediate impact during his first play of the game. He took the snap on third down and it was like he never left as he scored on a two-yard touchdown run. He then ripped off his helmet and yelled “I’m back!” as his teammates celebrated around him. With Cam’s contagious flair back in full effect, he started the game with a bang, throwing for one TD, running for another, and sparking Carolina to a 34-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals this past Sunday.
The two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner in college was inexplicably let go by the Panthers after the 2019 season, even though he was the NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2015. After leading them to the Super Bowl that year he struggled on and off with injuries until he missed the majority of the season in 2019. But up until then, pretty much every year Newton was putting up MVP numbers. He was voted the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year after passing for more yards than any rookie in the league’s history with 4,051 yards.
He was named the AP and Pepsi Rookie of the Year, all while gaining the nickname Superman because of how he celebrated after scoring rushing TDs. He made his first playoff appearance in his third year in 2013, and then another playoff appearance in 2014. At the end of the 2014 season, he became one of only three QBs to have at least 500 yards rushing per season in a four-season span and the only QB to ever have 10,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing in his first four seasons.
Then 2015 was, of course, his MVP season when he set many records. In 2016 Cam’s production dipped slightly, but he was still ranked 44th by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players List. Then the 2017 season was more of a return to form for Newton as he passed for 3,302 yards, 16 interceptions, and a career high 754 yards rushing to go along with six rushing TDs. These stats awarded him 25th place on the NFL Top 100 Players list.
In the Wild Card round of the playoffs that year Cam led the team with 349 yards and two TDs, but they still lost 31-26 to the New Orleans Saints. 2018 started out great for Super-Cam as he won Player of the Week in Week 7 after leading the team to victory after being down 17-0 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Then after losing six straight, Cam complained of a nagging shoulder injury which led to him having right shoulder surgery on January 14, 2019. The 2019 season saw Newton missing most of the season with injuries, which is when the Panthers selfishly decided to release him on March 24, 2020.
After passing for 29,049 yards, throwing 183 TDs, having a completion percentage of 60.1%, a passer rating of 85.9 percent, and setting incredible rushing records for QBs, this still wasn’t enough for Carolina. Cam put this team on his back all these years to bring them back to prominence, but as soon as he sustains a major injury, they throw him to the wolves.
But, through all this, he picked himself up and signed with the New England Patriots on July 8, 2020. Filling newly departed QB Tom Brady’s shoes was a huge undertaking, but Cam did an admirable job. He missed a couple of weeks when he tested positive for COVID19, but still ended up having 2,657 yards, eight TDs, and ten interceptions, to go along with 137 carries for 592 rushing yards and 12 rushing TDs. This season was even more impressive for him in that he set two rushing records for the Patriots including the longest run by a quarterback and the most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback.
Even though the Patriots re-signed Newton to a one year deal on March 12, 2021, they still gave up on him and released him on August 31. This was in part because of Mac Jones, the rookie QB the Patriots drafted in the first round of the 2021 draft. Ownership figured his youth and talent was a better fit for their organization. So Cam was left out in the cold again.
After all this heartache, Superman is back where he started and is ready to prove everyone wrong. Carolina has him as the official starter this week against the Washington Football Team. Hopefully, he’ll continue the excitement that he started last week and once again bring the Panthers back to the top of the NFL.
Article by: Chris Steele, iHearts143Quotes Team member