The Carolina Panthers signed Cam Newton to a five-year, $103.8-million contract extension earlier this summer.
They probably don’t want to see him at the bottom of a pile of humongous football players just a few days into training camp.
But that’s where the team’s franchise quarterback found himself Monday after getting into a scuffle with cornerback Josh Norman.
During an already intense practice, Norman made a sliding interception of a Newton pass and started to return the ball toward the opposite end zone. Newton was wearing a red jersey to signify he’s not to be touched during practice, but Coach Ron Rivera said Norman stiff-armed the quarterback during the runback.
After the play was whistled dead, the fifth-year quarterback tackled the fourth-year cornerback and they wrestled for a few moments while other players piled on. As he was being pulled from the bottom of the pile, Newton yelled to Norman, “Hit me like that again and you’ll know something.”
Tensions between the two never really settled, as they exchanged words from across the field and Newton dared Norman to try it again.
While it’s great for players to show passion, it was pretty risky behavior for a $100-million-plus quarterback.
Or as veteran linebacker Thomas Davis screamed at Newton after the skirmish: “That’s stupid. That’s stupid.”