Cam Newton has found his new NFL team. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the former Carolina Panthers quarterback has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the England Patriots. He will compete for the starting job as Tom Brady left the team to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March.
Newton was released by the Panthers in March after spending nine seasons with the team. He was drafted No. 1 overall in 2011 and won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Newton emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL after winning the MVP award in 2015, the same year the Panthers reached the Super Bowl. During the last two seasons, Newton dealt with his share of injuries, leading the Panthers to cut him with one year remaining on his contract.
"Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas," general manager Marty Hurney said in a press release. "Everyone saw his performances on the field. I had the privilege of seeing how hard he worked off the field, and his commitment to this team when no one was watching. He's the ultimate competitor and it physically hurts him to lose. He willed this team to victory on many occasions and will always be considered one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise. His contributions to this team, this community and the game of football will leave a lasting impact on our organization."
The Panthers made the move to cut Newton when the team signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal. It was reported the Panthers were looking to trade Newton to the Chicago Bears or Los Angeles Chargers, but they couldn't get a deal done. "We've addressed it a bunch," Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said when asked about why the Panthers cut Newton. "We did what we thought was right. We did what we thought was right for the future. And we're going to have to do that year in and year out. this is a game of change. This is a game of turnover. All you can do is do things the right way. All you can do is tell people as best you can tell them. You have to give them hard news in this business."
Newton is the Panthers' all-time leader in passing yards (29,041), passing touchdowns (182), pass attempts (3,980), pass completions (2,371), 300-yard passing games (19), rushing touchdowns (58) and wins by a quarterback (68). He played college football at Auburn where he won the Heisman Trophy and led the team to a national championship in 2010.