Carolina Panthers rookie Cam Newton, who has broken almost every record there is for a quarterback through two games of a career, shocked the league today by announcing his retirement.
"I love the sport of football, but I also want challenges in my life," Newton said today at a press conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. "And I don't know what else I can really do in this game. It's time for me to move on."
In his first NFL regular season game, Newton set the record for most passing yards in an NFL debut. In Week 2, he set an NFL record for most passing yards to open a season through two weeks. The Heisman winner already has as many 400-yard passing games in his career as Brett Favre, Jim Kelly and John Elway, and more than Fran Tarkenton, Troy Aikman, Bart Starr and Roger Staubach.
"Cam is the greatest quarterback I have ever seen live," said Panthers third-string quarterback Jimmy Clausen. "Even better than Matt Moore and Dayne Crist."
Newton said he considered sticking around another week or two, but thought to himself: "What would that really accomplish?"
"At some point you have to just rest on your laurels," he said. "What's the point of me going out and passing for 500, 600, 700 yards in a game? Just to prove that I can? Why? I have already shown that NFL defenses are not a match for me. Doing it indefinitely into the future would, I think, just be cruel to them. I had a good career. Let someone else have a shot now."
The 0-2 Panthers host the Jaguars on Sunday.