Cam Newton returns to the Carolina Panthers

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Carolina Panthers have re-signed quarterback Cam Newton 18 months after he was released by the franchise.

The 32-year-old, a former NFL most valuable player, was a free agent after being released by the New England Patriots before the season started.

The Panthers have re-signed former quarterback Newton on a one-year deal worth up to $10 million – including $4.5 million fully guaranteed and a $1.5 million roster bonus, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

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. But, with a defence that is near the top of the league a solid and experienced quarterback is needed for a team that still has legitimate playoff hopes.

Newton last played for Carolina in 2019, starting two games before a foot injury ended his season. The Panthers released him prior to the 2020 draft and he spent last year with the New England Patriots, before again being released in the offseason as they handed the offense over to rookie quarterback Mac Jones.

Newton generally struggled in New England, averaging 177.1 passing yards per game in his 15 starts, with only eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions as the Patriots finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs.

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Since his release from the Patriots, Newton had remained a free agent while awaiting the right opportunity to return to the NFL. He was vaccinated against Covid-19 during his period of unemployment.

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, trailing only Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

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

He’s also the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 70, 12 of which came last year in 15 starts with the Patriots.

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