The story of Cam Newton’s career has been one of greatness. Every step of the way he has been celebrated by the masses, from the Super Bowl MVP, to the MVP, to the league’s best passer, to the future Hall of Fame quarterback. One thing Newton has never been, however, is the best in his game. He has been the best passer in the NFL—until the 2020 season crept up on him and seemingly passed him by.

News is out today that Cam Newton is returning from injury and looking great, and this bodes well for his chances of making the 2021 NFL season. The Carolina Panthers will be one of the most competitive teams in the league next season, and the quarterback position is at the top of the food chain. With his explosive playmaking ability on any given play, Cam Newton could make his mark as the stunning leader in an incredible category

Cam Newton could be entering the 2021 NFL season as the stunning leader in an incredible category. Newton is known for being the leader of the football team: the Panthers, and he has been a leader in his career, both on and off the field. He is a leader with utmost respect for the game of football, not just his team, as he has been the face of the league since his arrival in 2011. Cam Newton is in the midst of his prime, and his career is at the top of its peak. Though he won the MVP award in 2015, it is unclear if Newton will be able to maintain his high performance level. It has been a rough season for the Panthers, and Cam Newton has been criticized for his lack of production.

The days of New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton destroying rival defenses every Sunday — and the odd Thursday or Monday — may be numbered.

Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, has been robbed of the qualities that made him such a dynamic dual-threat player for the Carolina Panthers. However, the three-time Pro Bowler has a chance to top a surprise category heading into the 2021 NFL season.

Cam Newton may be the active leader in running touchdowns entering the 2021 NFL season.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton in 2020.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton in 2020. Cam Newton of the New England Patriots may lead the league in running touchdowns entering the 2021 season | Mark Brown/Getty Images

Newton has always wowed with his arm and legs, dating back to his days as a top high school quarterback prospect in Georgia.

Newton’s talent was used by both the Panthers and the Patriots, and he will begin the 2021 NFL season with 70 running touchdowns. In seven career postseason games, he’s also ran for two touchdowns.

Not only are his 70 running touchdowns rank 32nd all-time, but they are also the highest among active NFL players. Although Adrian Peterson (118 touchdowns), Frank Gore (81), and LeSean McCoy (73) all had more touchdowns than Newton, they were all free agents at the time of publishing.

If nothing changes before the season starts on Thursday, September 9, Newton will have the most running touchdowns of any active player. Given that he is a quarterback, it is an amazing achievement.

The three running backs ahead of him will have a difficult time returning to the NFL.

There’s still time for things to change for Newton could be removed off the list. However, the chances of any of the three running backs getting a shot anytime soon are stacked against them.

To begin with, all three are in their late thirties, at least by NFL standards. Gore, 38, is coming off a season in which he ran for the New York Jets and averaged 3.5 yards per carry. Peterson, who ran for 604 yards and seven touchdowns for the Detroit Lions last season, is 36 years old and has a lot of miles on his tires.

Then there’s McCoy, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on July 12th. Last season, the six-time Pro Bowler carried the ball 10 times in ten games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and caught 15 passes for 101 yards. He’s a far way from his 2017 season with the Buffalo Bills, when he rushed for 1,138 yards and six touchdowns.

Any club interested in any of those three would have already signed them. Even if any of those three veterans are willing to play on a minimum deal, clubs realize they will likely get much more value from younger players. It’s not out of the question that the Bills re-sign Gore or that the Tennessee Titans sign Peterson, but don’t rely on it.

Who are the other active rushing touchdown leaders?

Because Gore, McCoy, and Peterson are all free agents, the current list of active running touchdowns leaders may surprise some.

Newton tops the record with 70 touchdowns, while Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams is close behind him with 67. After a disappointing 2020 season with Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, the 26-year-old remained a free agent as of publishing. He is not eligible for this list until further notice.

Mark Ingram of the Houston Texans has 62 rushing touchdowns, making him the active leader among running backs on NFL rosters. Derrick Henry of the Titans has 55 running touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott of the Cowboys has 46.

Melvin Gordon (45) of the Broncos and Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray (43) of the Saints round out the top five… or six, really. When someone like Peterson, who has the fourth-most running touchdowns in league history, is ruled ineligible for a list like this, it’s amazing how much things change.

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RELATED: Adrian Peterson’s Legendary NFL Career Has Unexpectedly Reached the Point of Denial

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