One of many Thanos memes about Cam Newton.

Back in March 2020, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers parted ways under odd circumstances, with the team “giving Newton permission to seek a trade,” Newton complaining about their word choice and saying he never asked for a trade, and the Panthers eventually releasing him. Newton wound up going to the New England Patriots and had an up-and-down season there, throwing for eight touchdowns (with a completion percentage of 65.8 percent, second-highest of his career) and rushing for 12 more, but also tossing 10 interceptions and posting just 2,657 passing yards (lowest of his career, barring 2019 where injury only saw him play in two games).

The Patriots signed Newton to another one-year deal, but then cut him in August to focus on “our future” of Mac Jones, and he’s been out of the league since without even a lot of reported interest. Newton did say he wanted to keep playing, and he said he even got vaccinated against COVID-19 (he was not while with the Patriots, and some cited that as a reason teams weren’t bringing him in given the challenges of the  league protocols for unvaccinated players) to further that goal, but there were still questions on if anyone was actually going to sign him. However, a lot of teams have recently hit quarterback trouble, and the Seahawks and Texans both reportedly made offers to Newton. In the end, he chose to return to the Panthers (who had started Teddy Bridgewater, Phillip Walker, and Sam Darnold since parting ways with Newton). Here’s the team’s announcement of that signing:

And that tweet received a thousand “back to me” Thanos memes (from Avengers: Endgame). A sprinkling of those:

That’s a great quote to reference in this situation, so it’s not surprising that a lot of people thought of it. But there were some other memes flying around as well:

And perhaps the best one we saw was about what this means for famed meme subject Sam Darnold (a meme the Panthers even referenced when they traded three draft picks for him):

Poor Darnold. At least he had a few good weeks with the Panthers? And at least his career has included one of the better ongoing NFL memes. But he’s now been pushed aside in favor of Newton and Thanos memes.

[Top image from @CincyHeadline on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.