Coach Ron Rivera said that while he prefers his fifth-year quarterback would have handled the situation a little better, he understands what Newton felt at the time.
"It's a tremendous award for the organization," Rivera said. "It validates everything that we've done, and again, our success always starts at the top. I really do appreciate our owner, Mr. [Jerry] Richardson, for believing in me and giving me my opportunity. Dave Gettleman and Marty Hurney — the two general managers I've worked with — I thank them for what they've done. Our coaching staff has been tremendous; our players have been outstanding."