5 crucial observations from the Carolina Panthers landing Baker Mayfield

(Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield
(Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

Carolina Panthers close the door on Cam Newton

It always seemed like a long shot for Cam Newton to return for another go-around with the Carolina Panthers. Now that the team has landed Baker Mayfield after months of rumors, it appears as if the door has been officially closed for good.

Newton sensationally agreed to return before Carolina’s game at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 after Sam Darnold went out through injury. Something most never thought possible considering the messy circumstances and false promises surrounding his release in 2020.

Things didn’t go according to plan, which was not entirely unexpected considering how late he came into the fold and having almost no time to pick up the playbook or develop chemistry with his teammates. It was also clear that Matt Rhule was always going to go with Darnold once the signal-caller was cleared for a return.

Carolina has dangled the carrot regarding another deal for Newton this offseason. General manager Scott Fitterer stated that the lines of communication remain open without anything concrete emerging over free agency and before the draft.

This is obviously the end for Newton as a player in Carolina, one suspects. But the former NFL MVP deserves a fitting send-off after everything he’s given the organization.