Panthers: Time to think about life after Cam Newton
The Carolina Panthers need to start thinking about life after Cam Newton…
Over the years, there has been increasing discussion as to whether the Carolina Panthers should start thinking about life beyond Cam Newton. Is he a talented quarterback? Yes, he is. Is he the leader of the team? Yes, he would fall into that category as well.
With that in mind, Newton has taken a lot of hits over the years. Although that is the way he plays the game, the fact of the matter is, that shortens his career considerably.
According to a statistic from ESPN Stats and Info, Newton entered the 2017 season having been sacked or hit 922 times since the 2011 season. Russell Wilson was second on that list having been sacked or hit 615 times. To put it bluntly, Newton was the leader in a category that you do not want to find yourself in.
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With those things in mind, Panthers.com writer Bill Voth penned an article Friday where fans asked him questions and he gave answers. One fan asked Voth if the Panthers would draft a quarterback to backup Newton or if backup Derek Anderson would be traded in exchange for another backup quarterback. His answer was rather interesting.
"Since making Cam Newton the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Carolina is the only team in the league that hasn’t taken a quarterback in the past six drafts. Even New England and Green Bay, who have somewhat decent quarterbacks, have each picked two since 2012. It’s time the Panthers use a mid-round pick on one."
Voth is right on the money with his answer. Having a backup that you can develop and groom to become the quarterback of the future is crucial. Newton is coming off a great 2017 season. Throwing for 3,302 yards, 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, he was a big reason why the team made it to the playoffs and put up a fight in the Wild Card Game against the Saints.
You have to think long-term here though. The Panthers need to have a plan in place for the future. Newton is only 28 years old, entering the prime of his career. In that respect, a backup quarterback is not as urgent as I am maybe making it sound. Even still, what if he takes another hit like he did in the game against the Saints? How many more of those can he take? My guess is, he can’t take many more.
Now, I am not suggesting to run Newton out of town in favor of a younger signal-caller. To do so would be foolish. What I am saying is to start thinking about the future at the position. I am not sure what you could get in return in a trade for Anderson, so I think a young quarterback being developed by Panther coaches would better suit the team in the long run.
Whatever the Panthers do, they need to feel confident in their decision, as it could make or break the franchise in the coming years. The quarterback is the engine that makes everything run offensively and there needs to be a level of comfort when giving him the reins.