Cam Newton had his worst season of his career last season, but that did not stop the Carolina Panthers from locking up their franchise quarter back for the next five seasons with contract worth over $100 million. He is a unique quarterback who plays big in the pocket and on the run. Newton is a gun slinger who also runs the ball with physicality. If you were to mesh Colin Kaepernick’s height with Russell Wilson’s build and combine their four legs into two, you would produce Cam Newton. He has a big arm, big body, and big-play ability.
Over his career, Cam Newton has finished in the top three in both rush attempts and rushing yards. He also is very good at powering his way in the end zone with his legs, amassing 33 rushing touchdowns over his four seasons in the league. He has failed to rush for double digit touchdowns since his rookie season and his touchdown totals have trended down over his career, but he is still one of the few quarterbacks in the league who are true threats with their mobility.
Cam Newton failed to play a full season for the first time in his career last year, and it took its toll on his statistics.
For the first time we saw Cam Newton finish outside of the top five in quarterback rankings. He also saw a career low in attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns. Newton may have only missed two games, but he played with a myriad of injuries throughout the season. A particularly brutal stretch for him was weeks 7-9, where he failed to complete more than 17 passes in all three weeks and threw for just 205, 171, and 151 yards in that order. Newton did not eclipse 250 yards for exactly half of his games last season, not great for a typically top quarterback.
The good news is Cam Newton is finally healthy. Injuries hobbled him and hurt his production last season, but 2015 should see the return of the top five quarter back that he is. The Carolina Panthers have made a concerted effort to surround their franchise quarterback with young talent. Newton saw success with then rookie Kelvin Benjamin last year, and added Devin Funchess in this year’s draft. They also drafted Cameron Artis-Payne, who has no real competition behind him to fill in if Jonathan Stewart were to succumb to injury. Jonathan Stewart saw resurgence last season which will add more balance to the offense this season, possibly cutting down on Newton’s interceptions. The Panthers also have tight end Greg Olsen who is Cam’s favorite weapon. Olsen eclipsed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career last season, and had some of his better games without Newton. He is a focal point of the offense, who will only contribute to Newton’s overall numbers.
The dual threat running back that most people are after is Russell Wilson, but his cost may be too much on during drafts and on a weekly basis. You can argue that Cam Newton is a better quarterback, and he certainly will be more valuable in terms of cost. A healthy Cam Newton coming off of a down year could be a scary Cam Newton. With plenty of weapons around him and his own talents to rely on, Newton will return to his elite status this season.