Is Cam’s future in Carolina in Jeopardy?

Staff Writer: Harvey Atsma

The Carolina Panthers were eager to start the 2019 season because of their legitimate shot at being Super Bowl contenders. During the offseason, the defense was looking explosive, do-everything back Christian McCaffery was determined to prove he can be one of the best running backs in the league, and, of course, franchise quarterback Cam Newton looking to bounce back from injury and lead their offense.

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Kyle Allen and Cam Newton preparing before game. Photo Credit: CarolinaPanthers.com

Unfortunately, yet another injury hit Newton during the third week of preseason and ruled him out the remainder of game. Like most athletes, Cam glossed over the fact of how hurt he was, and with the coach’s approval, he decided to suit up for the first game of season.

The Panthers were looking good in Week 1 against the defending NFC Champion Rams, but ultimately fell short by three points. Every NFL fan watching the game knew Cam wasn’t playing the same as his usual caliber.

Chad Stevens stated, “The cycle of pain and treatment has obviously worn Newton down, like it did Luck. I’m not saying Newton is considering retirement, but he has clearly been diminished by his protracted struggles with the injury bug.”

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Cam Newton being escorted off the field after undetermined injury. Photo Credit: BleacherReport.com

Newton has the most quarterback rushing touchdowns since entering the league in 2011. The first game of the 2019 season he had less than five yards rushing, which was limited because of the sustaining injury.

After realizing Newton needed to recover, the Panthers turned to the backup quarterback Kyle Allen. Kyle Allen has been efficient with the improved Panthers offense. He has led them to four consecutive wins with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

His success has been boosted with the help of McCaffery, who is currently in the running for the NFL’s MVP. McCaffery has seven touchdowns and has been a force in the passing attack as well.

Granted the team is 4-0 under Allen with Newton out due to injury, but the former NFL MVP is looking healthier headed into Week 8. The big question now is who should start at quarterback when Cam returns fully recovered.

In my opinion, I believe Newton should start when he returns. This is a controversial opinion because of the success Allen has had so far. If you look at the overall picture, Newton has been an elite quarterback since coming into the league. Newton won his MVP in his 2015 season and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. There is no question that a healthy Cam Newton is better than a healthy Kyle Allen.

Despite the success Allen has had, I feel Newton can step right back into the offense and continue to produce wins. The team may even look more improved if they can get a healthy Cam back into the offense.

I believe Allen has fulfilled his role as the backup quarterback, but now the Panthers need to turn back to their franchise quarterback. Other people may have the opinion that Allen should remain the quarterback for the offense. He has proven himself effective over the past four games and, most importantly, they won.

The thing is that Kyle Allen wasn’t the sole purpose in the panthers wins. The defense has been very efficient in handling opposing offenses and McCaffery is looking like the best running back in the league. All these factors come into play when analyzing if Kyle Allen is actually better than Cam Newton or just fits decently well with an improved Panthers team.

Allen’s statistics through these four games aren’t that spectacular. His most passing yards in a single game is only 232. Despite not throwing a pick, he has accounted for six fumbles (three of them lost), and has been sacked 10 times throughout those four games.

This 2019 season has already had over 40 different quarterbacks getting a shot at the starting position. Kyle Allen is one of them, but unlike the other backups they don’t have a former MVP gunning to get back out there.

Newton’s pocket presence, athletic ability, and chemistry are better than Kyle Allen’s.

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Kyle Allen releasing his first throw of the season as starting quarterback. Photo credits: Cbssports.com

I believe if Newton wasn’t injured this season, he could return to the level we are used to seeing him perform. If he could lead the Panthers to a Super Bowl without the weapons they have today then it could be a scary sight to see a healthy Cam running this offense.

In hindsight, if the Panthers decide to stick with Kyle Allen and bench their franchise quarterback then Newton’s career in Carolina may be over. I believe this would be the most disrespectful way to treat him if he is actually healthy and they continue to not play him. That’s basically them turning their backs on everything he has done for the organization and them only caring about winning, which Newton has proven to do that as well.

If Cam Newton doesn’t re-sign with Panthers after his contract is up, then multiple teams will have interest in him. I believe Newton still has a couple more years in him despite the hits he has taken throughout his career. He is still in the league for a reason and still has more to prove.

 

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