Don’t expect the Carolina Panthers to bring Cam Newton home

(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton
(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

Don’t expect the Carolina Panthers to bring Cam Newton back to the organization after he was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday.

As it turned out, there was no second coming for Cam Newton on the New England Patriots. The former Carolina Panthers quarterback was officially released by Bill Belichick ahead of the 53-man roster deadline, meaning that Mac Jones gets the keys to the kingdom right out of the gate after impressing during the preseason.

Just where Newton goes now is unclear. He looked fresh and firing in warmup games, although choosing not to get the vaccine opened the door for Jones to get meaningful practice reps over a five-day period and the Alabama product never looked back.

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Patriots did not try and trade Newton before moving on. Perhaps knowing what some around the league feel is happening to the 2015 NFL MVP.

That being said, it’s still early to write him off.

Newton contracted COVID-19 at a time when he started building momentum in 2020 – so for him not to get vaccinated knowing how much it impacted him from a health standpoint is incredibly difficult to fathom.

How much interest there will be in Newton is yet to be determined. But his early departure from Foxborough caused many Panthers fans on social media to call for a homecoming regarding the former No. 1 overall selection out of Auburn.

Carolina Panthers won’t be reuniting with Cam Newton.

This would be an absolute bombshell.

And probably unlikely to happen.

The Panthers unceremoniously removed Newton from the equation last spring once Teddy Bridgewater was signed in free agency. A decision that was both strange in timing and from a production standpoint.

Carolina hitched their wagon to Sam Darnold this offseason, giving up three draft selections to land the player from the New York Jets. They appear committed to the USC product initially and have already made P.J. Walker their backup after releasing Will Grier on Tuesday.

However, one could argue that Newton is far superior as a backup option to Walker and might have enough to challenge Darnold for the No. 1 spot in this scenario.

It’s a nice notion to think about. Newton was beloved in Carolina and transformed the organization from also-rans into legitimate contenders and into the national spotlight.

Newton gave his heart, body, and soul for the Panthers’ cause. A sacrifice that’s had a lingering impact with foot and shoulder injuries that eventually sealed his fate.

Going back to square one at this stage of Newton’s career is not ideal. And perhaps it spells the end of his hopes of ever becoming a prominent NFL starter again.

Teams will always be wary of having a backup with the personality and reputation of Newton. This was also recognized by Belichick, who went with Brian Hoyer to leave no doubt this is Jones’ team for the foreseeable future.

In some ways – mostly the vaccine – Newton has only himself to blame. The Boston media also didn’t take to him after seeing a robotic presence under center over the last two decades in Tom Brady, who towed the party line and got plenty of success as a result.

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Returning to the Panthers would be a dream come true for fans. But don’t expect a reunion to happen.