Carolina Panthers 8 most franchise-changing offseason moments
Panthers franchise-changing moment No.1: Drafting Cam Newton in 2011
The greatest quarterback and perhaps player in Panthers’ history, Cam Newton, was the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The class this year is one of the best of all time, highlighted by the likes of J.J Watt, Von Miller, Julio Jones, Patrick Peterson, A.J Green, Justin Houston, Richard Sherman, and many others.
However, none of the other players hit the ceiling that Newton did in their careers. The 2015 MVP was the face of the Panthers from the day he entered the building until his release in 2020. The combined impact he had on and off the field as a player and as a person was immense.
Newton’s personality was a divisive force around NFL circles and for analysts, but the people who truly know him, understand that he cares for football and other people before himself. His fun-loving spirit shined through in 2015, and he grew the brand of Panther’s football around the world.
In his prime, Newton was the best short-yardage threat in the NFL. He ran for 58 touchdowns in his first stint with the Panthers, an unbelievable mark for any player, but especially when that player is a quarterback.
Newton was released in 2020 after the team wanted to go a different route at quarterback. Even if this was the right football move, cutting Newton after his injury and after teams around the league figured out their quarterback situations was disrespectful. And Carolina fans felt and still feel anger towards the organization for how they went about this move.
This shows how loved and appreciated Newton is by the fanbase. Everyone around the team recognizes what he did for the city and the organization.
Deciding to draft Newton 1st overall was the most crucial off-season moment in franchise history. The transcendent talent changed Panthers football forever with his play and his smile.