CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE/WNCN) — Cam Newton made his NFL debut 10 years ago against the Arizona Cardinals.
On Sunday, after signing a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers, Newton is once again, hoping to take on the Cardinals. But, more than likely, it will come Nov. 21 against the Washington Football Team after just re-signing with Carolina on Thursday.
Newton, now in his second stint with the team that drafted him, has had some ups and downs in his career.
2011 was a whirlwind year for Newton.
After winning the Heisman Trophy, Newton then won the BCS National Championship with the University of Auburn and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Panthers in that year’s NFL Draft.
In his NFL debut game in 2011, Newton became the first rookie quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in his first career game.
Newton reached the height of his powers in 2015. That year, he won the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award while leading his team to a 15-1 record in the regular season and a trip to the Super Bowl.
But the downfall started soon after the loss in Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos.
After a few years of nagging injuries and surgeries, Newton was cut by the team that drafted him in March of 2020. A few months later, Newton signed with the New England Patriots.
2020 was another season of ups and downs that included a missed game due to testing positive for COVID-19. The Patriots cut Newton in the offseason, opting instead to start rookie Mac Jones. Jones was drafted No. 15 overall in 2021, the highest New England head coach Bill Belichick has taken a QB in a draft in his Patriot tenure.
Since then, Newton has been waiting patiently for his chance to return to the NFL.
When his phone rang from an old friend this week it was from an old friend.
It came in the wake of current starter Sam Darnold’s injury that will sideline him for an unspecified amount of weeks. He suffered a fractured shoulder blade in the Panthers’ loss to New England in Week 9.
Without the re-signing of Newton, the Panthers would’ve started P.J. Walker with Matt Barkley the backup off of the Tennessee Titan practice squad.
CBS 17’s Kayla Morton edited and added to this web copy.