No Carolina Panthers were selected as potential NFL MVP candidates for 2018…
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton won the NFL award for Most Valuable Player behind an impressive 15-1 regular season just three years ago. Last season, despite limited participation in training camp and offseason workouts, Newton led the Panthers in a return to the playoffs and near fourth divisional title – in just his seventh season.
A lightning rod for controversy and seldom the recipient of credit, even when due, Newton has enjoyed success at every level of football. He’s appeared in one Super Bowl already and has all of the tools necessary for bringing a first Lombardi Trophy back to Charlotte and second league MVP award.
How the Panthers offense under new coordinator Norv Turner will operate remains a mystery but coach Ron Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney have attempted to surround Newton with viable offensive weapons, even if some remain unproven.
Should the unit receive an expected amount of production from potential playmakers like Curtis Samuel, Damiere Byrd and rookie first-round pick, D.J. Moore, coupled with Devin Funchess and veteran addition Torrey Smith, this receiving corps could be his best yet.
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Health is always a factor. Tight end Greg Olsen missed a majority of last season with a foot injury but should return and pick back up his string of consecutive 1,000 yard receiving seasons. If Turner pushes the right buttons and Newton is protected, another MVP year is not out of the question.
Unless you consider the recent selections made by ESPN Insiders. Tasked with the (way too early) prediction of a 2018 NFL MVP, eight media experts each made a pick from an NFC representative but none were Panthers.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers received half of the votes with other quarterbacks and one running back rounding out the current front-runners for best player. Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia) and NFC South rival Drew Brees (New Orleans) were the other quarterbacks selected.
Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley was the only non-signal caller to earn a recommendation.
The excitement surrounding Newton and Carolina for 2018 is mounting. After an offseason filled with changes in personnel on the field, sidelines and front office, the Panthers are poised for a new start that could be reminiscent of a recent past if all goes according to plan.