Why has the NFL seemingly forgotten about former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton despite some suspect play around the league?
Nothing lasts forever and father time waits for no man. However, the standard of quarterback play around the NFL this season makes it hard to fathom why former Carolina Panthers icon Cam Newton has been seemingly forgotten.
Newton reportedly received offers from one or two teams regarding a return to playing this season, according to Sheena Quick of Fox Sports Radio 1340. Just finding a job was not enough for the 2015 NFL MVP, who was looking for the right fit to start or land a backup role within an organization that possessed legitimate chances of contending.
The Panthers didn’t rule out the prospect of Newton coming back following his bombshell return to the franchise ahead of Week 10 in 2021. This injected a sense of hope and belonging that was sorely lacking under previous head coach Matt Rhule, although it was evident from a long way out that the Auburn product joining was not his call.
Newton had the shortest leash of any Panthers quarterback. Rhule’s attachment to Sam Darnold meant he was introduced quickly once medically cleared, something that brought little success as Carolina spiraled to a dismal end to the season.
Cam Newton was dealt an unfair hand after leaving the Carolina Panthers
It was a difficult situation for Newton. There’s absolutely no getting away from that.
Arriving so late and learning on the fly were significant obstacles to overcome. But the player didn’t do enough to completely remove Darnold from the equation and has been searching for a new home ever since.
Perhaps Newton is at peace with leaving the game behind. Fans still worship their hero and rightfully so after everything he gave the Panthers on and off the field, but it’s been a quick path to relative obscurity for the player since Rhule went back on his initial word and released the No. 1 overall selection in 2011 when opportunities elsewhere were extremely limited.
The league keeps ticking over.
It did before Newton burst onto the scene and will thrive long after he’s gone.
Newton’s had a rough shake of things. Other underperforming quarterbacks around the league – three of whom have turned out for Carolina in recent seasons – still get countless chances to prove themselves while he’s left on the outside looking in.
The arm isn’t what it once was. Even if Newton’s prowess running the football remained a weapon of significant use in Carolina and could potentially help elsewhere.
But that doesn’t mean Newton isn’t at least deserving of a backup spot somewhere. Something he was reportedly willing to accept on the right franchise.
Speculation about teams not being keen on his big personality making things difficult for their starting option was asinine. Of all the knocks surrounding Newton – fair or otherwise – throughout his career, one thing that cannot be disputed is leadership and the esteem in which the quarterback is held among his peers.
In truth, Newton’s probably done. He’s got other interests going on – media mogul, youth football coach, and aspiring real estate developer – so missing an entire season is likely to put him at the back of everyone’s minds when it comes to planning for the future.
But until Newton officially calls it a day and hopefully retires as a Panther, those who idolize the signal-caller will always hold out hope.
Newton doesn’t owe football anything. The game failed him to a certain extent and when the time comes, the debate will be rife about whether or not his exploits deserve a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He will always be revered in the Carolinas. But that hasn’t stopped the NFL from forgetting about what a dynamic figure prime Cam Newton was at the peak of his powers in the hope others with fewer credentials can pick themselves up off the canvas.
And that’s the saddest thing of all.