Why it’s time for the Carolina Panthers to give up on Cam Newton

(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

With injuries mounting at the quarterback position, could the Carolina Panthers consider giving a call to their former franchise quarterback Cam Newton?

It’s been a chaotic week for Carolina Panthers fans in both good and bad ways. The good is the franchise cutting ties with Matt Rhule, with the bad being the injuries that have begun to mount at quarterback.

Sam Darnold is not yet fully healthy from a high-ankle sprain. Incumbent starter Baker Mayfield suffered a similar injury and is expected to be out for the next few weeks. Rookie Matt Corral is also out for the season with a Lisfranc foot injury.

This leaves P.J. Walker and Jacob Eason as the top two healthy quarterbacks on the roster. With interim head coach Steve Wilks leading the way for a lowly organization, the current situation under center is not a favorable one, especially with the struggles of the Panthers’ passing game and the inability to convert third downs at a consistent rate.

This has led to questions from fans and media alike. What is next for the Panthers under Wilks and general manager Scott Fitterer? Despite the firing of coach Rhule, what could the franchise do to boost fan morale and bring them back to Bank of America Stadium?

Maybe a simple phone call to the former face of the franchise could do the trick…again. That person is none other than Cam Newton.

It’s time for Carolina Panthers fans to give up on Cam Newton…for good.

Last season when Darnold went down due to injury, the Panthers brought back their former franchise player Newton to help fill in. His return was well-highlighted after the first couple of weeks, including an emotional return to Bank of America Stadium in a loss to the then-Washington Football Team.

After that, the flashes of Newton were minimal at best. His body looked worn down and deteriorated in terms of his athletic ability and natural talent. It was a nice, heart-warming reunion for the first few weeks of his return, but nothing more than that.

Then reality set in.

What followed after indicated Newton is no longer the same guy that used to fly over the trenches at the goal line, using his power and size to run over defenses en route to touchdowns, and slinging the ball 60-yards downfield on a rope. The NFL MVP of old is no longer and is in the past.

There is the argument that Newton could return with some time to prepare and potentially be half the signal-caller he was before the injuries began to take their toll. The former Auburn sensation has a good relationship with plenty of personnel within the organization and roster, which could also assist.

Realistically, this idea may not become reality. Something Panthers fans need to realize, even with the injuries and uncertainty across the organization.

What the No. 1 overall draft selection in 2011 has done for the organization is nothing short of spectacular. Newton set a standard for how the future quarterback should look and play. He made the Carolina Panthers relevant and impacted so many young fans and athletes.

His impact is still being felt today off the field. Even if Newton is well past his prime and no longer the same player he was four years ago.

I have a lot of respect for fans that believe that Newton can still play and help their team to victory. Part of me believes that there is still some juice left in the tank.

However until proven otherwise, I can’t bring myself to that notion.

It’s a shame that Newton may never win a Super Bowl as a starter or even a backup. It’s a shame that his career was slowly cut short by nagging shoulder injuries he suffered in 2016 and 2018. There was so much potential for the Heisman Trophy winner to be one of the more successful players the league has ever seen.

While it might be hard to admit, Newton is at the end of his career.

Newton’s body has diminished and he is not the same player. It has been a wonderful career that seems to have had an unfavorable culmination, one that fans will continue to ponder, “what-if?”.

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