Cam Newton on why he didn’t stay with Panthers after 2021 return

Cam Newton shared his thoughts on why contract discussions with the Panthers broke down after he made a brief Carolina comeback in 2021.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After spending nearly a decade as the face of the Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton returned briefly in 2021 as Matt Rhule found himself unable to settle on a quarterback.

The second go-around with Carolina didn’t last long, but Newton says that isn’t because he wasn’t willing to play for the Panthers and Rhule. On a recent episode of his “4th & 1” podcast, Newton explained that initial discussions with the Panthers went downhill when the team didn’t view him as a starting quarterback.

“It was small talk,” Newton told Dan Patrick. “It was the Panthers trying to get me back and they didn’t know. At that specific time, Sam Darnold was there.”

Newton said the team asked him to be Darnold’s backup going into 2022, which was fine, as long as the team met one condition.

“My rebuttal to that was I don’t have a problem being being a backup if I have an opportunity to prove that I’m still willing and able to be a starter,” Newton explained

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