The Carolina Panthers decided to move on from former MVP Cam Newton and sought greener future pastures in Sam Darnoldland. It made a lot of sense on paper but in practice has deteriorated rapidly to the point that the position is entirely unsettled. XFL legend P.J. Walker has been tasked with injecting some juice into the offense, though there's an obvious ceiling and lack of a complete résumé to consider.
Staring down that uncertainty, the franchise has decided to reach out to an old flame in hopes of rekindling the magic. Jonathan Alexander of the Charlotte Observer reports the Panthers braintrust will meet with Newton to broach the subject of a reconciliation. The very idea our own Liam McKeone floated a few days ago.
Newton lost his spot in New England to Mac Jones and a reluctance to get vaccinated. He is a whisper of the player he once was, yet is still one of the score of humans roaming the Earth who have ascended to the top of the quarterbacking pyramid. His lows with the Patriots weren't inspiring but they were a far cry from the valleys Darnold has carved out with confusing, uninspiring play. Newton is assuredly not a long-term answer. There's open debate if Darnold can be that answer either, whether in Carolina or with a third team desperate to unlock his potential.
Time is a flat circle but it can heal old wounds and make the heart grow fonder. Running it back for another potential playoff run would be a great story. Currently the Panthers are in the NFC South cellar yet can get to .500 and back in the mix with a victory on Sunday. Their best-case scenario involves Walker stepping into the role and dominating. Newton is a reliable backup if nothing else and would perhaps find new life with a second chance.
Very, very intriguing.
UPDATE: It's official. The Panthers are running it back with Cam Newton.