Will Cam Newton have the last laugh regarding his bitter departure from the Carolina Panthers this offseason?
The Carolina Panthers might think they made the right call by parting ways with Cam Newton. But could the quarterback get the last laugh?
Things have grown increasingly bitter between the Carolina Panthers and their former franchise player since they went their separate ways. Newton claims that the organization “gave up” on him. And there were many that thought the signal-caller deserved another chance to shine under the new regime.
Instead, the Panthers opted to move forward with Teddy Bridgewater with a three-year, $63 million deal that included a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed. Newton should probably have been moved on the moment their new arrival put pen to paper. And leaving it so long only heightened the animosity between the two parties.
After almost three months of constant speculation, Newton now finally has a new home. The signal-caller agreed on a deal that could be worth up to $7.5 million with the New England Patriots. And this is arguably the best possible option for the player if he wants to become a day one starter.
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This has also come at the best possible time for the player. Teams are heading back to their practice facilities and training camp is now just a month away. Newton can grasp the playbook in the coming weeks to ensure he is ready to hit the ground running when it is safe to make a return to the field.
It also allows the Panthers to move on without the lingering questions surrounding Newton’s future. The sooner their former star is playing somewhere else, the better for their hopes going forward. It should also begin the healing process between the two parties. And this is another element to this situation that will be welcome.
Can Cam Newton get the last laugh on the Carolina Panthers?
It’s easy to forget that Cam Newton is still just 31-years-old. In quarterback terms, he should now be entering his prime. However, his body took an enormous amount of punishment during his time with the Carolina Panthers. And it remains to be seen just how much the player has left in the tank.
The rest and time off might have done him the world of good. And he is going into an organization that knows what it takes to win. They did have some glaring deficiencies on offense in 2019. But whether a new presence under center will reignite a struggling wide receiver group will go a long way to determining just how successful Newton is going to be in a different environment.
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Carolina is not expected to pull up any trees regarding its record in 2020. They decimated their roster of veteran players in the hope of becoming a contender down the road. And this represents a window of opportunity to get one over on his old team while they go through these changes.
The weapons in New England are far inferior to that Newton could have used with the Panthers. But there is already a winning culture around the organization that might give him the edge.
They also have a formidable defense that did lose some key individuals this offseason. But Belichick has proven time and time again just how good he is at bringing relative unknowns into the fold that can make a contribution.
Newton does not fall into this category by any stretch of the imagination. He is still one of the NFL’s most recognizable faces. And he comes into 2020 with a big point to prove not only to himself but to the decision-makers in Carolina who decided not to make him part of their revolution.
This could mean that Newton does get the last laugh from this situation. Seeing him take the field in a different uniform is going to be very strange. But seeing how he fares is going to be must-watch.