Panthers News: Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, DeAndre Hopkins and stadium blow

Cam Newton
Cam Newton / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK
3 of 4

Carolina Panthers were Baker Mayfield's rock bottom

This time last year saw some optimism that the Carolina Panthers had found their guy to take them forward under center. Despite trading up to draft Matt Corral, primary shot-caller Matt Rhule thought acquiring Baker Mayfield from the Cleveland Browns would provide the short-term fix needed to alleviate the ongoing pressure on his job status.

Mayfield beat out Sam Darnold during an unnecessary quarterback competition at camp to become Carolina's starter in Week 1. But it didn't take long for this newfound encouragement to disintegrate after a lackluster opening that also saw Rhule fired following defeat against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5.

The former No. 1 overall selection went to the sidelines through injury and would start just once more before his eventual release. Something he recently stated via the New York Post was his rock bottom before falling in love with football again on the Los Angeles Rams.

"I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. It was the first time I had fun playing football in a few years. It brought that feeling of having that success and really remembering what it was all about, Kind of hit the reset button for me. Revitalized. I’m really excited and pumped up and just looking forward to the future."

Baker Mayfield via New York Post

Mayfield will see a lot of the Panthers next season after penning a one-year deal worth $8.5 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But as the Heisman Trophy winner is about to find out, this is not the same team he joined last summer.