Cam Newton is coming home

Cam Newton is coming home

Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

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The Carolina Panthers did the unthinkable on Thursday: They brought back Cam Newton.

Why it matters: Cam is one of the most beloved — but also hated — figures in the NFL.

  • The polarizing quarterback has been called arrogant, entertaining and everything in between during his time playing for the Panthers and, most recently, one season with the Patriots.
  • Cam will certainly help get butts in seats at Bank of America Stadium after an otherwise lackluster start to the season.

The big picture: The Panthers were in desperate need of a quarterback with starter Sam Darnold out four-six weeks with a shoulder injury.

  • Even with a healthy Darnold, the team isn’t playing well. They’re 4-5 at the bottom of the NFC South.

On the field: Newton’s stats speak for themselves, leading the Panthers in passing yards and touchdowns, as well as rushing touchdowns.

  • In other words, when he was healthy, he was exceptional during his nine seasons with the Panthers.
  • He brought smiles young fans when he would run to the stands after a touchdown and give them the football.

Cam Newton hands young fan a football. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Off the field: Newton made an impact.

  • His annual Thanksgiving Jam provided a feast for underprivileged children and their families.
  • And it was hard to miss the 6-foot-5 NFL quarterback often spotted around Uptown on foot, scooter and sometimes hoverboard.

[Related Axios story: I saw Cam Newton on his scooter yesterday and it made me LOL]

The team posted a photo of owner David Tepper and Newton together, smiling, each with an after around the other after announcing the one-year deal, something no one could have anticipated with how poorly Newton’s exit went last year.

  • And yes, the Panthers still had the No. 1 jersey available.

Zoom out: Charlotte now has the NBA rookie of the year playing for the Hornets and a former NFL MVP with the Panthers. And we have some burning questions: Who will have better postgame outfits — Newton or LaMelo Ball? And will the stylish pair end up roommates?

[Related Axios story: LaMelo Ball’s favorite dish in Charlotte is at a cereal bar]

My thought bubble: Earlier this morningI checked the Panthers roster as the rumors began to swirl, wondering if anyone occupied No. 1, and it turns out Newton’s old number is available. QB1 is back.

Who will have better postgame fits?

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