He signed a deal that could pay him up to $10 million, proving they brought him in to be the starter.
And the Panthers do indeed have a new starter in place of the injured Sam Darnold for Week 10.
Is Newton returning to play so soon?
#Panthers coach Matt Rhule tells reporters that PJ Walker will start this week, while the focus behind the scenes is on getting Cam Newton up to speed as soon as possible. Cam will start eventually.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 11, 2021
No, not yet.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule is going with former XFL legend P.J. Walker in what is the right decision.
Walker has been preparing as the starter all week and making a change on Thursday would disrupt the preparation for a tough showdown against the Arizona Cardinals.
And it’s not like Walker is going to be distracted by the fact this is a spot start.
He is getting an opportunity to prove himself and if he plays well, he will have a future somewhere in the NFL.
How Newton Factors Into The Equation
For now it looks like Newton will make his debut in Week 11 against the Washington Football Team.
That game is followed by a must-win over the Miami Dolphins before heading into a Week 13 bye.
Newton starting against Washington is rather poetic considering Ron Rivera is the coach for the Football Team.
Both have their legacies tied to one another and the storylines write themselves for that matchup.
— NFL (@NFL) November 11, 2021
Let’s say the Panthers lose Sunday and fall to 4-6.
That means Newton will become the starter with seven games remaining in the season.
The first two games against Washington and Miami, if all goes well, should result in Carolina wins.
So in a best-case scenario, the Panthers are 6-6 with a schedule featuring the Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice.
Carolina is paying Newton a lot of money and he can earn it and much more by somehow getting the Panthers to the playoffs with such a grueling slate of games.
Walker can also earn himself some nice money with an upset win Sunday against Arizona.NEXT: Panthers Paying Cam Newton Like A Starting QB