Cam Newton has one of the most improbable stories in football. Out of high school, he was a highly sought-after prospect recruited by the University of Florida. But after an incident with a stolen laptop, he found himself without a team before he took a snap as a Gator.
But he transferred to Blinn College, a junior college, and proved he could play. Within a year, he was back in the SEC, leading the Auburn Tigers to a National Championship. He picked up a Heisman Trophy along the way. And then it was off to the NFL, where he was selected No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in 2011. Within two years, he’d gone from disappointing prospect to the best of his class by a country mile.
His story mimics his play style. When pushed into a corner and given little-to-no chance for success, Cam Newton would come alive. He could resurrect plays that seemed long dead. Either with his legs and his ability to break tackles like a bruising running back or with his booming right arm.
Newton spent nine seasons in Carolina where he proved to be a polarizing but potent player. During his time with the Panthers, he had 29,041 passing yards, 182 passing touchdowns in 125 career games with 68 wins, according to Sports Illustrated. Each one had a special moment that only seemed possible because Newton seemed to make up the laws of physics as he went. He set the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by a QB with 70. That’s with 5,398 career rushing yards.
And of course, he popularized the “Dab,” the meme that lived on for years, propelled mostly by Newton’s charisma. Off the field, his willingness to say anything or wear anything made him fun to watch long after the game was over.
Newton turns 32 today, May 11. So, let’s look back at some of his best moments in the NFL.
Cam Newton’s Highlight Reel Is Like Few Others
Not many could pull off the feats of strength and agility that Cam Newton seemed to always have at the ready. His quick feet and even-quicker thinking made him dangerous inside or outside of the pocket.
He took the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 in 2015, the same year he won NFL MVP. But it wasn’t to be. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos did what most teams found impossible that season. They contained Cam Newton.
He’d spend a few more seasons with the Panthers, but constant injuries kept him sidelined and took away a step or two from his speed. He was released in 2020 and picked up by the Patriots but the team struggled despite his intense work ethic. His time in New England is up, but his career is likely not over.
In fact, now that Newton is being pushed into that proverbial corner again, expect him to answer with something unexpected.