The Carolina Panthers have turned to an old friend in an attempt to bring some stability to their quarterback room. After placing starting signal caller Sam Darnold on the injured reserve due to an injury to his right shoulder, the team announced that Cam Newton will make his way back to Charlotte.
Reports began popping up earlier in the day on Thursday that Newton, who was selected by the team with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and spent the first nine years of his career there, was meeting with the franchise about a possible reunion. It did not take long for both the team and player to agree to a deal, which was announced by Carolina in short order.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 11, 2021
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Newton will be signed through the rest of the season on a deal worth up to $10 million with $4.5 million guaranteed.
Source: The #Panthers are giving QB Cam Newton a 1-year deal worth up to $10M for the rest of year…includes $4.5M fully guaranteed and $1.5M roster bonus.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 11, 2021
Newton spent last season with the New England Patriots, which released him prior to the regular season and opted to give the starting job to rookie QB Mac Jones. He posited that the reason for his release was that he would have been viewed as a distraction, while there was some speculation it was due to the fact that Newton was not vaccinated against COVID-19 (Patriots coach Bill Belichick rejected this, while Newton, per Rapoport, has since been vaccinated).
In the aftermath of Darnold’s injury, the Panthers named PJ Walker their starting quarterback while bringing journeyman Matt Barkley in as a backup. Carolina will play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday before taking on former head coach Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team the following week. Darnold is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.