Carolina Panthers reportedly plan to give Cam Newton a shot at 2022 starting QB job

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton is back with the organization where his legendary NFL career began and while he might not see the field much in Week 10, there will be a lot at stake for the former NFL MVP in the remainder of the season.

Months after Carolina traded a 2021 sixth-round pick along with 2022 second- and fourth-round selections to the New York Jets for Darnold, it seems the front office already sees the writing on the wall. Darnold was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL before suffering an incomplete fracture of the scapula in his right throwing shoulder.

Following the injury, which landed Darnold on IR, the Panthers worked quickly to bring Newton back into the fold. With the former Pro Bowl quarterback vaccinated and ready to play quickly, the fit became obvious for an organization desperate for some stability at the position.

  • Cam Newton stats (2011-’19 with Panthers): 31,698 passing yards, 190 passing touchdowns, 4,806 rushing yards and 58 rushing touchdowns

But Newton might be more than just a short-term solution for Carolina.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Panthers plan to give Newton a shot to be the starter for the rest of the season and potentially beyond. If he plays well, it’s believed that he would become the favorite to start for the Panthers in 2022.

  • Cam Newton contract: $6 million guaranteed, $4 million in playoff incentives ($500,000 for each playoff win, $1.5 million for Super Bowl appearance, $1 million for Super Bowl MVP)

The Panthers, per Schefter, believe Darnold’s injury will force him to miss the remainder of the season. While it wouldn’t impact his availability for 2022, it’s evident the organization is no longer sold on the former No. 3 pick.

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Given Darnold’s contract, Newton might be an ideal option for Carolina. Because the Panthers exercised Darnold’s fifth-year option, he is owed $18.858 million fully guaranteed next season. Considering he posted a 4-10 TD-INT ratio with a 54.77% completion rate and 56.5 passer rating in his final six starts, both the coaching staff and front office have likely realized his issues can’t be fixed.

Even if Newton plays well, expect the Panthers to be heavily involved in an active quarterback market this offseason.