November 21, 2008 — it was the day that nearly derailed Cam Newton's career and life from what he knows it as today.
The then-University of Florida backup quarterback was arrested on that day for stealing a student's laptop and was charged with felony counts of burglary, obstructing justice and larceny, as reported by TMZ Sports.
Now, exactly nine years later, Newton decided to look back on that day by posting his 2008 mugshot on Instagram and explaining that people can "learn" from his story.
"I contemplated posting this and even reluctant about it, but as I think about my life and the MANY things I'm THANKFUL for, I want to be an OPEN book, so people can hear my testimony and learn from the FLAWS and mistakes I MADE!" Newton wrote on his IG post. "On this day 11/21/2008 I was arrested for a stolen laptop and I'm sure you're asking yourself where is he going with this story."
Newton added: "The moral of the story is this ... on this date I THOUGHT my life and my career was OVER and the fact that I had shamed my family with the media coverage surrounding this situation I vowed to myself on this day (9 years ago) that 'I will be BETTER from this situation'. What you must learn from this story is this: If you live your life listening to what OTHER people are saying what you should do AND NOT YOUR OWN, shame on YOU!"
Read his entire IG post below.
Newton struck a plea deal and the charges against him were dropped after he finished a pretrial diversion program, as TMZ reported. He transferred from Florida to Blinn College, a junior college in Texas, in January 2009, before signing with Auburn University.
There, he cleaned up his image and dazzled on the field, earning the 2010 Heisman Trophy and leading Auburn to a national championship victory in January 2011.
That propelled Newton to being selected by the Carolina Panthers as the top overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft.
And the rest is history, as the 28-year-old Newton is currently in his seventh season as an NFL QB and has a league MVP (2015) and three Pro Bowl selections (2011, 2013, 2015) to his name.
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(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)