Cam Newton is wearing the same jersey number with the Carolina Panthers that he wore in his first stint with the team, and it is apparently not a coincidence that it was still available.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Stephon Gilmore asked to wear No. 1 with the Panthers when they acquired him in a trade with the New England Patriots. Gilmore, who is from South Carolina, wanted to wear the number as a tribute to Newton. Team owner David Tepper declined the request, however, as he didn’t feel right giving Newton’s old number away.
Gilmore ended up with No. 9, and No. 1 remained vacant.