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Another Panthers rookie from Auburn, receiver Darvin Adams, called Newton a "natural born leader."
Newton will be looked at to bring stability to a position where the Panthers struggled greatly last season. Carolina was last in several NFL categories and finished with the fewest points in team history.
Rivera said Newton would battle for the starting job with the quarterbacks in camp, last year's starter Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike. General manager Marty Hurney didn't rule out bringing a veteran quarterback to add depth during camp.
Newton was the focus of an NCAA investigation. The governing body ruled that his father, Cecil, had sought money from Mississippi State when Cam Newton was being recruited out of junior college. The quarterback signed with Auburn and was deemed eligible after a one-day suspension when the NCAA's reinstatement staff found he didn't know about the pay-for-play scheme. He was cleared to play in the SEC and national championship games.
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