Cam Newton vs. Josh Norman fight: Revisiting the 2015 training camp scuffle between Panthers teammates

Cam Newton made his way into the headlines Sunday. The former NFL QB was involved in a fight at a 7-on-7 football tournament in Atlanta over the weekend.

“We Ball Sports” held its annual invite-only 7-on-7 flag football tournament that rewards up to $5,000 in cash prizes to the winning team. Newton was in attendance for C1N, a professional sports organization who took part in the 7-on-7 tournament, and actually won the tournament. 

While it’s unclear what started the melee, the towering Newton was seen fighting off at least four people who were swinging at the quarterback. 

It’s not the first time Newton has been involved in a physical altercation. The viral video got fans talking about Newton’s infamous feud with former Panthers cornerback Josh Norman back in 2015. The two teammates got into a spat in training camp, showcasing the fiery side of the former Auburn star. 

MORE: Projecting the starting QB for all 32 NFL teams in 2024

The Sporting News takes a look back at the scuffle between Newton and Norman that took place back in 2015. 

2015 Cam Newton vs. Josh Norman fight

Newton has always been a fiery competitor. It’s part of what made him so successful both at the college level and in the NFL. 

While the dynamic former QB made a career out of being a dual-threat at the position, his emotions also got him in the headlines every once and awhile. There is no better example than the 2015 fight with Norman during training camp. 

Ahead of the 2015 season, the Panthers starting QB and the cornerback got into a brief scuffle while in training camp. Footage was picked up of the two sides grabbing at each other’s face masks before eventually being separated by teammates and staff members. 

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“I saw [the play develop] kinda the whole way,” Norman explained in 2022. “Cam threw it, because he was getting pressured upfront. And so I end up picking it off, got it, ran all the way back. Cam came by, I stiff-armed him in the face and, like, literally went into the end zone and slammed the ball and was like, ‘Aight, now what?’

“So as soon as I turned around, shoot, big 6-5 in my face like, ‘Yo, listen, I see you scored. But don’t put your hand in my face again like that.’ And I’m looking at him like, ‘Bro, who you talking to like … I had a flashback. So we basically at each other’s face. And so I grabbed his face mask and I pulled him down to my level. And so he grabbed me. And then I end up hip-tossing him. That’s probably why you saw his helmet coming off. His whole offensive line came in and bum-rushed me. And I’m looking at my guys like, ‘What’s up?’”

The coaching staff did not necessarily see the fight in a bad light. Bills head coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers’ offensive coordinator at the time, and gave his two cents on the scuffle. 

“We’d rather have that than guys out here just going through the motions playing patty cake,” McDermott said of the Newton-Norman fight.

Norman admitted that he let his emotions get the better of him and “saw red” briefly during the altercation. 

“At that time, I ain’t even see anything,” he said. “I just saw red, bro. It just took me back. And so we talked about it at the end of the day in the showers. And so, I get it. We gonna get at each other, but that’s gonna make us better. That’s gonna make us compete. That’s gonna make us worthy of the chance of actually fighting for a championship.”

Amazingly, Norman’s right — the incident may have worked. The Panthers went on to post an impressive 15-1 record, easily winning the NFC South and claiming the top spot in the NFC. It was by far the best season in Newton’s career, Norman’s career and in franchise history. 

Carolina made it all the way to the Super Bowl before falling to Peyton Manning and Denver in Super Bowl 50.  

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