Could Cam Newton be about to make the Carolina Panthers look foolish regarding their decision to release the quarterback this offseason?
A team captain, confirmed starter, and a buzz officially generated. It’s clear that Cam Newton has set the New England Patriots alight in his first few weeks with the franchise.
The iconic signal-caller has found the right spot to make a go of his second chance following his release by the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason. The timing of his departure was awful, to say the least. But Newton has clearly used this as a source of motivation to make the biggest of impressions with the Patriots in such a short space of time.
The 2015 NFL MVP has got his sights set on big things in New England after signing a bargain-basement deal that includes just $550,000 guaranteed. This has the potential to be another shrewd move from Bill Belichick, who seems to have gotten on with Newton tremendously well despite the obvious concerns regarding a possible personality clash prior to his arrival in Foxborough.
Cam Newton is out to prove the Carolina Panthers wrong.
Newton is obviously still hurting from his release by the Panthers and the way it was handled. A player who gave so much to the organization after arriving as the No. 1 overall pick deserved better and this is a situation that Carolina’s decision-makers probably look back on with a sense of regret.
If he signal-caller makes a splash in a different environment, then it could make the Panthers look foolish. Newton does have his work cut out in New England given their lack of real weapons available. But his presence as a dual-threat weapon gives the Patriots far more options from a play-calling perspective than they ever had with Tom Brady under center.
Newton’s prognosis regarding the foot and shoulder injuries that blighted his final 18 months in Carolina looks promising. He does need to prove capable of taking hits during a game, which he hasn’t experienced yet. But it is hard not to like his chances of performing well on an individual basis even if the Patriots do not end up reaching the lofty heights of old.
A number of influential members of New England’s defense opted-out due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19. This has only lowered expectations for the one-time dynasty. But having Newton as part of the organization has given it a new lease of life heading into the 2020 season.
The new regime in Carolina was more than entitled to go in their own direction. They chose Teddy Bridgewater as the man to guide them forward and the pressure will be on their free-agent signing in no uncertain terms if Newton outshines him early on.
There is still a large section of the Panthers fanbase that would prefer Newton under center. This is a man they idolized for almost a decade and it will not take long for the murmurings of discontent to emerge if Bridgewater fails to make the most out of a second chance of being an NFL starter.
This is a cloud that will continue to hang over the Panthers until they get back into postseason contention. For Newton, this season represents a significant opportunity to prove the organization he once called home gave up on their franchise player too soon.