The biggest story in the National Football League this week came courtesy of the Carolina Panthers. The team signed quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal, reuniting the 2015 NFL MVP with his original franchise.
Washington Football Team offensive coordinator Scott Turner had the chance to coach Newton at two different points during the quarterback's first tenure with the Panthers, most recently in 2018-19 when Turner served as Carolina's quarterback coach.
Speaking with local media on Thursday, Turner said he was "really happy" his former quarterback was getting the chance to play again, specifically for the same franchise Newton accomplished a lot with.
"Good for Cam. Really happy for him. I had a great time coaching him," Turner said. "I've known him for a really long time. Always been a big fan of his and always really liked him as a player and as a person, more importantly. I'm just happy he's getting the chance to play again."
Turner went on to praise Newton even more later on, complimenting the quarterback's competitiveness and work ethic.
"He's got his personality for sure. But more than anything, he's a competitor. He wants to win. So, he brings it, he really works at it," Turner said. "As he got more mature, I think he evolved in the way he approached the game as well."
Newton, who was released by the Patriots in August, had been a free agent ever since. Carolina had a need to fill at the position following Sam Darnold's shoulder injury, an ailment that is expected to sideline him for 4-6 weeks.
The quarterback's deal with Carolina is worth up to $10 million with incentives, per NFL Network, meaning the Panthers are paying Newton starting quarterback money for the remainder of the season.
It won't take long for Washington to see Newton, either, as the Burgundy and Gold travel to Charlotte next week to face the Panthers in what will be Ron Rivera's first game back in Bank of America Stadium since he became Washington's head coach.
"I guess we'll see him pretty soon," Turner said, smiling.
Although Rivera chose not to bring Newton to Washington when he had the chance, there's still plenty of love between the two of them. After all, the duo accomplished a ton together over nine years, winning four NFC South titles, including a 15-1 season and Super Bowl appearance in 2015.
"Coach Rivera, the time that I've been around him, always had a great relationship with Cam," Turner said. "They did a nice job and accomplished a lot."