Cam Newton named ‘Most Underrated’ quarterback

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Cam Newton
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Cam Newton /

Cam Newton named the ‘Most Underrated’ quarterback by a poll of his peers.

Let the hot takes and criticism begin. No stranger to controversy, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton elicits a polarizing response from fans around the league – and even some of those who pull for his own team. Since entering the league as the No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Newton has been a lightning rod for critics despite his track record.

An eight-year career that features a Rookie of the Year award (2011), league MVP (2015), first-team All Pro selection (2015) and three Pro Bowls (2011, 2013, 2015). He’s been to the playoffs on four occasions, won the division three times and reached the Super Bowl.

Along the way he’s also set multiple franchise, rookie and NFL records for the quarterback position. An impressive resume but one that his detractors fail to recognize, choosing instead to focus on passing accuracy, press conferences and one failed attempt at a fumble recovery.

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Despite the naysayers, a recent poll conducted by The Athletic of 85 current NFL defensive players resulted in Newton being named the ‘Most Underrated’ of all NFL quarterbacks. Finally, a legitimate voice from those who are tasked with attempting to slow down Newton on a weekly basis instead of a group of former players, television analysts or talking heads who warrant clicks and views by voicing their misinformed opinions of Newton.

The Panthers franchise quarterback was on pace to silence his critics again this season until his surgically repaired shoulder began to be an issue. Through eight games, Newton had completed 67-percent of his passes for 1,893 yards, 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Even according to his own diagnosis, Newton was playing the best football of his career.

Always a weapon in the run game, the former league MVP had seemingly turned a page in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s playbook and was getting it done through the air as well. A quarterback who could take over a game on the ground and through the air, Newton was a dangerous combination.

An attempt to play through the pain only resulted in poor performances down the stretch as Carolina remained in the playoff picture for much of the season. Hopefully, a decision to shut him down early and a full offseason results in a healthy QB1 when training camp begins next year.

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If so, expect Newton to continue silencing his critics with his play while earning the respect of his opponents.