Tom Brady's departure from the New England Patriots earlier this year created one of the biggest holes a professional sports franchise has had to fill in a lifetime. Brady was the secret sauce that made for a whole winning recipe: six Super Bowl rings, countless memories and G.O.A.T. status. How were the Pats faithful supposed to move on?

Cam Newton may just be the man they’ve been looking for.

The first overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Auburn and a Heisman Trophy winner, Newton came into the NFL ready-made for superstardom. And he delivered. He was the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, nabbed 2015 AP NFL MVP honors and took the Carolina Panthers to Super Bowl 50, which they lost to the Denver Broncos.

But he's also made a bigger impact on the game: When voters named Newton the 2015 Associated Press NFL MVP, he became just the second Black quarterback to get the award and the first to do so outright. Steve McNair won the 2003 MVP award with the Tennessee Titans, but shared the title with Peyton Manning.

Now, Newton is ready for a fresh start. If his introductory press conference was any indiciation, he's ready to play some dadgum football.

“I don’t have to prove nothing … especially not to nobody," he said. "Now, I have to prove to myself, that’s the daily challenge, and I don’t think nobody’s expectations would ever surpass my expectations for myself.”

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