5 things Carolina Panthers fans can be thankful for

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) D.J. Moore
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) D.J. Moore /
2 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

The Cam Newton years

Yes, things ended on a sour note between the Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton. But fans should always be thankful they had the iconic quarterback in the first place.

Newton arrived with plenty of expectations on his shoulders as the No. 1 overall pick in 2011. What came next propelled the Panthers onto the national stage and saw the player become the face of the NFL for a brief period.

His dual-threat ability wowed anyone that saw him play. Newton displayed the sort of physicality running the ball that revolutionized the position and his NFL MVP year in 2015 is something that will live long in the memory.

Injuries eventually took their toll on Newton over his final 18 months in Carolina. Foot and shoulder problems kept him on the sidelines and his time with the organization was cut short at a time when there were few opportunities to start elsewhere.

Newton eventually found a home with the New England Patriots and has played well on the whole. So hopefully, over time, the bitterness between both parties can subside and his impact on the Panthers on and off the field can be remembered with the recognition it deserves.

Although Newton’s time in Carolina failed to bring an elusive first Super Bowl, his contribution to the franchise might never be matched.