Against the Arizona Cardinals, Newton threw and rushed for a touchdown, and yelled “I’m back!” after his score on the ground.
After being unceremoniously waived by the New England Patriots toward the end of the preseason, Newton was left without a home for the first two months of the season.
In the middle of November, he re-joined the team with which he had his most successful NFL run, and looked reminiscent of his former self initially.
Produced by @iconicsaga pic.twitter.com/cCPa9OigPo
— Cameron 1 Newton (@CameronNewton) November 15, 2021
After an average subsequent week against the Washington Football Team, Newton’s performance waned.
In the last four games he played, he posted a touchdown to interception ratio of 1:5.
While he did offset that with some production on the ground, it wasn’t viable enough to distinguish himself in Carolina.
Cam Newton In 2022 And Beyond
Despite an up and down performance in 2021 (to say the least), Newton feels like he can be an asset to a team next season.
Cam Newton says he's healthy, and is willing to accept a backup role in the right situation, for a winning-type team:
— Nick Carboni (@NickCarboniWCNC) January 10, 2022
In a season-concluding press conference earlier in the week, Newton defended the amount of production he has remaining in the tank, and confirmed that he was healthy.
He made some interesting comments that indicated the type of team he would look to play with in the future, and what his role would be on said team.
It was previously believed that Newton would accept nothing less than a starting job, because he felt he could still play at the level he did several years ago.
However, the 32-year-old alluded to the fact that if he was on a winning team, he would accept a reserve role.
With the end of a difficult season upon him, Newton was surprisingly reflective with regards to what his NFL future holds.
An honest assessment of his current skill does lend himself to being more of a fill-in reserve than a full-time starter, and hopefully Newton still sees it that way in free agency.
In this day and age in the league, being a reserve quarterback is less of a slight than it ever has been.
There are many teams across the league who draw up packages for their backup signal-callers.
The Miami Dolphins call on Jacoby Brissett in third or fourth-and-short situations.
The New Orleans Saints have used Taysom Hill all over the formation for many years, with great success.
On Sunday night, we saw the Las Vegas Raiders effectively sprinkle Marcus Mariota in to give the Los Angeles Chargers a different look.
While Newton’s arm strength and talent appear to be significantly reduced, his rushing ability still puts defenses in a bind.
If he lands with a team with a creative coaching staff, there is a good chance Newton will continue to affect games positively in run-pass option schemes as a change of pace.