The Carolina Panthers are in need of a quarterback. A familiar face may be the answer.
Per Jonathan A. Alexander of The Charlotte Observer, the Panthers will meet with Cam Newton regarding a possible return to the franchise that drafted him. Newton, who played for the Panthers from 2011 to 2019 and is the franchise’s all-time passing leader, has been a free agent since the New England Patriots released him in August.
The Panthers are in need of a starting quarterback after starter Sam Darnold suffered a fracture in his right shoulder blade. Carolina placed Darnold on injured reserve — which means he’s out for a minimum of three games. PJ Walker is scheduled to start Sunday and Carolina signed Matt Barkley this week for roster depth.
The Panthers have just two quarterbacks on the active roster, which is why it makes sense to give Newton a call. Walker has struggled when he’s relieved Darnold, completing just 3 of 15 passes for 33 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions (39.6 rating).
Newton transformed the Panthers into a Super Bowl contender during his nine years in Carolina, winning the 2015 NFL MVP award and leading the organization to Super Bowl 50. Newton has thrown for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns in his career with Carolina, both the most in franchise history. He also is third on the Panthers’ all-time rushing list (4,806), and his 58 rushing touchdowns are the most in franchise history.
Newton started 15 games in New England last season, the Patriots’ first with a losing record since 2000. He completed 65.8% of his passes for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions (82.9 rating). Newton rushed for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns, adding value with his legs instead of his arm. Newton scored multiple rushing touchdowns in four games in 2020, the most by any quarterback in the league. He also set the Patriots’ record for most rushing attempts (137) and rushing yards (592) in a season. Newton is also the only quarterback to reach double-digit touchdowns in three separate seasons.
Among the NFL records Newton owns, he has the most rushing touchdowns ever by a quarterback (70) and the most games with a passing and rushing touchdown (32). Newton is second only to Michael Vick (6,109) in career rushing yards by a quarterback (5,398).
The Panthers have their opportunity for one final tour with the 32-year-old Newton, which may be his final chance to prove he can still start in the NFL.
Please check the opt-in box to acknowledge that you would like to subscribe.