One of the franchise’s best players, if not the best, came home to save the team’s playoff hopes.
Unfortunately, his comeback brought more misery than luck.
The Panthers continue to look for answers at football’s most important position.
The Trailer Was Better Than The Movie
Newton teased the Panthers hopeful with his Week 10 performance against the Arizona Cardinals.
He did not start the game, but his impact helped Carolina dominate one of the NFC’s best teams.
The former Auburn standout played spot minutes, relieving then-starter P.J. Walker.
Despite limited playing time, he delivered two touchdowns to maintain the lead for good.
Aside from letting his game do the talking, he uttered the words “I’m back!” after his first touchdown.
Cam Newton is not a hall of famer
— 𝙇𝙖𝙯𝙖𝙧𝙪𝙨 (@SaintsLazarus) December 21, 2021
It was an excellent start for the returning player, but that was all he wrote in his second stint with Carolina.
He lost all four games this season as the team’s starter against teams still in the running for a playoff berth.
Throughout that stretch, he threw three touchdowns and four interceptions.
His production against the Miami Dolphins was easily his worst as he completed just five of 21 passes for 92 yards.
As a consolation, he had a rushing touchdown in each of those losses.
Either Cam Newton has to retire or I have to retire because I refuse to keep doing this, I can’t take it. 😔
— Emmanuel Acho (@EmmanuelAcho) December 21, 2021
Still, his primary role is to complete passes, and he’s not doing well in that aspect.
Three weeks after the Miami game, Newton completed only 47.4 percent of his throws against the Buffalo Bills to finish with a 15.6 quarterback rating.
These losses dropped the Panthers to 5-9 and practically out of postseason contention.
Worst, Newton hasn’t won in his last 12 starts for the Panthers, dating back to 2018.
Cam Newton 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/rAMIS0qLQj
— Hank Lockwood (@hen_ease) December 19, 2021
Without question, he’s one of the better rushing quarterbacks in the league.
Sadly, that’s not what the Panthers need at this point.
They’re better off with someone who could keep their offense going to gain more scoring opportunities.
Time To Honor His Legacy
It’s depressing for the Panthers to see Newton performing this way.
After all, he’s the one who made the franchise relevant during the previous decade.
However, Father Time is an unfair opponent, and not even Newton can defeat him.
The Panthers brought him back to see if there’s something left, but they’re better off moving in another direction.
Maybe Sam Darnold will shake off his recent struggles and live up to expectations.
We love Cam Newton touchdowns!
📺: FOX pic.twitter.com/H2Yr3Xo634
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 19, 2021
Or Walker could be the play-caller they are looking for once he gets more playing time.
There’s also a possibility that they’ll draft a quarterback or trade for a veteran next season.
Regardless of the team’s decision, it’s clear that their experiment with Newton didn’t go well.
Yes, he led the Panthers to a stint in Super Bowl 50 and won Most Valuable Player honors in the same year.
But the team can’t live in the past if they want to become competitive again moving forward.
BREAKING: Panthers coach Matt Rhule said Cam Newton will start Sunday vs. Buccaneers and have a major role in the game, but that Sam Darnold will play at some point.
— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) December 22, 2021
Panthers fans will love him no matter how their last three regular-season games will unfold.
They must shower him with support because he might not get a chance to play quarterback in the NFL again.