NFL

Cam Newton waiting for 'best fit' in 2022 – could yet be Panthers

By Sports Desk March 29, 2022

Cam Newton is again biding his time before deciding on his NFL future, although another return to the Carolina Panthers remains a possibility.

Newton was the 2015 NFL MVP during an initial nine-year Panthers career before he was released in March 2020.

The quarterback landed at the New England Patriots in July of that year on a one-year deal, replacing the great Tom Brady.

Although that contract was renewed for 2021, the emergence of rookie QB Mac Jones meant Newton was cut before the season started.

Newton had thrown just eight touchdown passes to 10 interceptions in New England but added 12 rushing scores – the most by a QB since his own 2011 record of 14 – and did enough to earn another job with the Panthers.

With Sam Darnold injured after an indifferent start in Carolina, Newton re-joined the team in November.

The 32-year-old scored a rushing TD in each of his first five games back, one short of Johnny Lujack's QB streak of six in 1950. Three games with a passing TD and a rushing TD boosted Newton's own record tally to 45 such games.

However, Newton later lost his place to Darnold and finished the year with a career-low passer rating of 64.4.

Still, almost three months on from the Panthers' final game of the season, the team are considering their future with Darnold while Newton is again without a team.

"I have teams that are interested in signing me," Newton told ESPN. "I am waiting on the best fit as it pertains to winning a championship and getting a fair chance to play."

Coach Matt Rhule said on Tuesday: "I love Cam Newton. He's an amazing leader. He's an amazing football player.

"Everything we do has to be right for the organisation, right for him."

The Panthers have the sixth overall pick in 2022, but it is a draft light on quarterback talent. Meanwhile, various trades and moves in free agency have left both the team and Newton short of alternative options.

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