Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Jan. 3, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C.
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton goes into tonight’s Super Bowl match as a winner. On Saturday the NFL named him its most valuable player for the 2015 season, the Charlotte Observer reports.

It was a nearly unanimous vote. Newton earned 48 of the 50 possible votes. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady received one vote each.

Newton said in a statement posted on the team’s website that he’s elated for the franchise and proud to be the first player in Panthers history to earn the NFL’s most prestigious award.

“I’ve received a lot of awards, but to be able to get this organization here, I’m really proud,” he said on the eve of the Panthers’ first game for the NFL championship.


Newton, who also won the Heisman Trophy, college football’s top honor, set an NFL mark with 35 passing and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. He’s also the first black quarterback to win the MVP award outright: Steve McNair shared the honor with Newton’s Super Bowl rival Peyton Manning in the 2003 season.

The Panthers scored a second prestigious honor ahead of Super Bowl 50. Panthers head coach Ron Rivera won his second Coach of the Year Award with the franchise for his team’s outstanding 15-1 regular season record.


Read more at the Charlotte Observer.