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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WGHP) — “Without further ado, I will say something that I’ve been wanting to say for a long time,” Cam Newton said at a Friday news conference. “Keep pounding.”

That’s right. Cam Newton is returning to the Carolina Panthers.

On Thursday, news broke that Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers reached a deal for a one-year contract, bringing Newton back on as quarterback after he was dropped by the New England Patriots.

On Friday, Newton spoke to the media about his homecoming.

“Honestly, I’m still floating,” Newton said. “I feel like I’m a say this a lot: it’s not about me. It’s about being an additional piece to this team, and that’s where I plan on keeping it.”

Newton explained that he had three main questions for himself in deciding which team would be the right team for him.

“One of them, not in no particular order, is ‘Are they a contender?’ Number two is ‘Do you have a realistic opportunity to be, so late in the season, to compete?’ And number three, ‘What’s the skill set around so that you can show your talents as well?’ And check, check, check,” Newton said.

Newton previously played nine seasons with the Panthers before he was released in March 2020.

He signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots a few months later.

The Patriots released Newton in August, leaving the player a free agent while the Panthers search for another quarterback after Sam Darnold suffered an incomplete fracture in his right shoulder blade.

The Carolina Panthers spoke of Newton’s accolades in the Thursday announcement:

But it’s not just Newton’s 139 NFL starts that make him valuable, it’s the possibilities to help a defense that is near the top of the league, for a team that still has legitimate playoff hopes.

In Newton’s nine seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns, and ran for 58 touchdowns. He’s the team’s all-time leader in all three categories, and he’s also third on the team’s all-time rushing list with 4,806 yards, trailing only Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams.

Newton won the NFL offensive rookie of the year award in 2011, and league MVP honors in 2015, when he led the team to a 15-1 record and a berth in the Super Bowl.

He’s also the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 70, 12 of which came last year in 15 starts with the Patriots.