For the first time in the Cam Newton era, the Panthers have drafted a quarterback.
And Newton is welcoming Charlotte native Will Grier, selected in the third round last week, with open arms.
“You would think I would feel intimidated; that’s not the case here,” Newton told FOX 46 in his native Atlanta. “I reached out to Will – I actually saw Will play in high school with him being in Charlotte – and I’m just excited for him to come on the team. He possesses a rare talent, and I’m excited.”
Head coach Ron Rivera said he wasn't surprised to see his franchise quarterback respond in such a manner.
"Cam understands his position on this football team," Rivera said. "And going forward, he knows it's his job to help develop our team -- just in case. I feel very positive about how everything Cam has done this offseason."
Drafting a quarterback behind Newton is something new for the Panthers, but it’s nothing new around the league. Since the Patriots picked Tom Brady in 2000, for example, New England has drafted 10 quarterbacks including six in the fourth round or earlier.
Newton, who sat out the final two games of the 2018 season with shoulder soreness, referenced a couple of University of Georgia additions while talking about Grier with the hometown television station.
“For me, it’s my job to put myself and this team in the best situation and to get everybody ready – whether that’s Will, that’s Terry (Godwin), that’s Elijah (Holyfield), whether that’s Christian McCaffery – it doesn’t matter,” Newton said. “I want to make sure I’m my best teammate, my best self for everyone.”