The Panthers, in their never-ending quest to upgrade the quarterback position, have gone back to the future. Cam Newton has returned.
He has arrived for his first practice in his second stint in Carolina. “Did ya miss me?” he said, via Joseph Person of TheAthletic.com.
Newton spent nine years with the Panthers, arriving as the first overall pick in 2011 and remaining with the team through 2019. He has now officially returned, with $4.5 million guaranteed for the balance of the season.
We debated the decision on Friday’s PFT Live. Peter King isn’t a fan of the move. Personally, I like the intrigue that comes from having an owner who clear is willing to wheel and deal — and to not double down on mistakes.
The problem, of course, is that the team has made some mistakes. Teddy Bridgewater got a year. Sam Darnold got half of one. Newton becomes the placeholder until the Panthers can try to make a big splash in the offseason, whether through the draft or by making a move for a veteran.
Indeed, if Deshaun Watson had been willing to waive his no-trade clause for the Panthers, David Tepper would have given the Texans whatever they want, without any expectation that Watson’s legal situation be resolved.
Right or wrong, the man who once kept a pair of brass balls on his desk is willing to swing the bat repeatedly in search of a franchise quarterback, even if that means periodically whacking himself in the head.