Cam Newton’s first game as a member of the New England Patriots will be against the Carolina Panthers after the NFL shortened the preseason.
Coincidence is a wonderful thing. It can throw up even the most unlikely scenarios. And this is especially true regarding the Carolina Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton.
With the NFL officially confirming a shortened preseason, cutting out the week one and four fixtures before the 2020 season opener. The Carolina Panthers will now come up against their former franchise signal-caller from the moment their new-look roster steps onto the field.
Carolina will travel to the New England Patriots for what is now their first preseason game. And this will see them take on Newton after he signed a one-year deal with the organization that could be worth $7.5 million if he reaches his incentives.
How much time Newton and other starters will be on the field is up for debate. But with only two games to ready themselves for a return to competitive action. It would not be a shock to see those slotted into starting spots on the depth chart see more than a half of action.
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This will give Newton a chance to show what the Panthers will be missing at the earliest possible opportunity. There has been plenty said about his departure from the organization. And the 2015 NFL MVP will be eager to show that he still has what it takes to be a successful starter after his final two years in Carolina were significantly hampered by injury.
The game itself might have been something of an afterthought in the grand scheme of things. But things have changed dramatically in the last week and it almost makes it must-see TV for a sports fanbase across the country that is craving a return to the field.
What to expect from Cam Newton against the Carolina Panthers
If Cam Newton was looking for any further inspiration at the start of his new journey, then this is sure to give him an added spark of motivation. He is sure to immediately become the starter in New England. And a good showing against the Carolina Panthers from the word go has the potential for murmurings of discontent to get even louder.
There were some that felt Newton deserved another chance given what he has given the Panthers over the years. Bill Belichick might decide to keep the quarterback out of the firing line. But the player himself will want to be out on the field at every opportunity.
This doesn’t come at the best time for the Panthers, who won’t get much face-to-face interaction in training camp before making the trip to Gillette Stadium. They will be only too aware of the impact a poor performance will have. And it is a real banana skin from a confidence perspective.
It will be vital to look at the bigger picture. This is only the first preseason game. And although it probably bears more significance now Newton is under center in New England. Head coach Matt Rhule must not detract from an ever-changing plan that has made his first few months at the helm extremely difficult.
Newton has nothing to lose going into this contest. The pressure will be on Teddy Bridgewater to make the most of whatever time he has on the field during this particular clash. And there will be a considerable microscope on both players during a game that is now being shown live on NFL Network.
Fate has brought Newton and the Panthers back together straight away. Preseason games can be something of a dull affair from a spectator standpoint. But this has the potential to be an unmissable watch.