5 critical observations from Cam Newton’s 2021 season

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Cam Newton
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Cam Newton /
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Cam Newton
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

Cam Newton came back to a different Carolina Panthers

Although no teams were willing to give Cam Newton a chance following his release by the New England Patriots, it was still a risk for the signal-caller to come back. And it probably didn’t take long for the player to realize this was a completely different Carolina Panthers to the one he left behind.

Newton wasted no time in emerging as one of the true alphas within the locker room. The focus was on accountability and getting everyone singing from the same hymn sheet – something that Carolina was devoid of before his arrival.

However, this was not the same mindset of a roster that boasted the likes of Newton, Ryan Kalil, Luke Kuechly, Greg Olsen, and Thomas Davis. The former NFL MVP tried valiantly to alter the mentality and judging by his exit presser comments, he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the response.

"“I don’t think a lot of guys really bought into it. And when I say guys, I’m not throwing anybody under the bus. I won’t do that. But buying in isn’t just verbally committing. Buying in is being the pig and not the chicken. It’s the commitment level, it’s the actions. Your level of commitment Wednesday through Saturday through Sunday, in-game adjustments, the really, attention to details.”"

Nothing stays the same forever. And certainly not where life in the NFL is concerned.

Newton is used to something far different than what the Panthers had to offer in 2021. Whether he’ll be back for more is another matter entirely.