Panthers complete reunion, agree to terms with Cam Newton after more than a year away from team

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To solve their quarterback issues, the Carolina Panthers are going back to a familiar face — the familiar face — of the franchise.

The Panthers announced Thursday that they have agreed to terms with free agent Cam Newton — the team’s all-time leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. The deal will be pending a physical. This came after the Charlotte Observer reported earlier on Thursday that Newton would be visiting the franchise.

Carolina has been battling poor play and now a key injury at the position. Sam Darnold, the team’s starter, began 2021 with solid play in a 3-0 start, but has slumped and is tied for the league lead with 11 interceptions. In a 24-6 loss against the Patriots, Darnold suffered an incomplete fracture in his throwing shoulder and will now miss four to six weeks. P.J. Walker is the team’s backup and is expected to start Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.

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Cam Newton has earned high praise from some of his new New England Patriots teammates.

The Panthers selected Newton No.1 overall in the 2011 NFL draft and he was the team’s starter from 2011-19, until injuries derailed his time there. In March 2020, the Panthers released Newton, who signed with the New England Patriots in June of that year as the team was looking to replace Tom Brady. Newton played one season in New England, but the team missed the playoffs. The Patriots picked quarterback Mac Jones in the 2021 NFL draft and Newton lost the quarterback competition during training camp, leading to his release, which the Patriots announced in August.

Newton, 32, threw for 29,041 passing yards and 182 touchdowns and also rushed for 58 scores in his nine seasons with Carolina.

Newton’s best season with the Panthers was in 2015, when he helped lead the team to a 15-1 record. Carolina would eventually lose to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50, but Newton walked away with MVP honors, the first and only time he has won the award, after he gained 4,473 total yards of offense and 45 total touchdowns.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cam Newton returns to Panthers after QB-needy team brings in old face

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