Cam Newton is back in the NFL, and it did not take long for the former New England Patriots starting quarterback to make an impact on his new team. Serving as a package-specific weapon for the Carolina Panthers he played nine snaps against the Arizona Cardinals, and scored a pair of touchdowns along the way.
Newton, who re-signed with the Panthers last week, went 3-for-4 as a passer for 8 yards and a touchdown; he also carried the ball three times for 14 yards and another score. Carolina ended up blowing out the Cardinals 34-10.
On Monday, his former head coach was asked about Newton being back in the NFL.
“It was great when they signed him,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick while appearing on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show (via ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss). “Sounds like he had a great day yesterday. So, always happy for Cam. Appreciate everything he did. He was a wonderful guy to coach and be around.”
Newton joined the Patriots in 2020 after having begun his career in Carolina. He went on to win his new team’s starting quarterback position and went on to play in 15 of 16 games. He did have his ups and downs during the team’s 7-9 season, but the admiration Newton enjoyed within the organization was obvious throughout.
With the Patriots adding Mac Jones in the first-round of this year’s draft, however, he faced some stiff opposition for the starting role. Jones ended up winning the competition, which led to Newton’s release. Ten weeks later, he returned to Carolina and has now played in his first game with the organization since 2019.