Heading into the 2019 season, Cam Newton was primed to lead the Carolina Panthers to the playoffs. In Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton suffered a foot injury which later revealed to be a lisfranc fracture; ending his season.
To that point, Newton threw for 572 yards, 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The season prior, he finished with 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and and 14 interceptions. Many have speculated whether Newton will progress under offensive coordinator Norv Turner.
Since entering the league in 2011, Newton has been the most established quarterback for Carolina since the days of Jake Delhomme.
From 2013-15, Newton led the Panthers to three consecutive NFC South titles; winning 10+ games in two of the three seasons. The stretch included a Super Bowl appearance in 2015, where the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos.
Since then, inconsistency within the regular season has become an ongoing issue. The Panthers have seen losing records in three of the last four seasons with a combined record of 29-35.
Before suffering a lisfranc fracture, Newton has been durable as far as mobile quarterbacks go. He has played in 14+ games in every season since 2011.
After being sidelined, Carolina gambled on Kyle Allen under center. In 12 games, Allen threw for 3,027 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. In the early stages of the campaign, Carolina rode a four-game winning streak.
At the time, Allen appeared to be the future of the franchise. However, those expectations shattered when the team dropped seven of their last eight games.
Leading up to Week 16, the team benched Allen and named Will Grier as the starter. As a result, Carolina found no success outside of the use of Christian McCaffery.
For many, Newton is the best option for Carolina moving forward. However, reports have come out claiming the team would be willing to move on from him at the right price.
This upcoming offseason, several teams will be looking at upgrades at the quarterback position. To name a few, we could see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, Chicago Bears, or the Oakland Raiders show interest. At this time, the Bears have been the presumed favorite to land the 30-year old.
After a Week 13 loss to the Washington Redskins, Carolina moved on from head coach Ron Rivera. Before the newest season, they could bring in a coaching candidate that will elevate the play of Newton. Names to consider would include Kevin Stefanski, Eric Bieniemy, or even Josh McDaniels.
Even after a major injury and cap hit of roughly $21M next season, Cam Newton is someone that can assist a team with winning aspirations. Although there are doubts about his consistency, his ceiling provides him with the potential to compete for the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard