Carolina Panthers — Quarterback Cam Newton
Of course the top Carolina Panthers player to watch this season would be quarterback Cam Newton. Who else would it be?
A year removed from an NFL MVP award, Newton’s 2016 campaign was anything but stellar. Not only did he lack weapons and support within the ground game, Newton was under pressure constantly and took 36 sacks — a number of them very rough.
Newton’s 75.8 passer rating last year is an indication of the help he needed.
Kudos to the Panthers going out and getting it. Running back Christian McCaffrey, taken in Round 1 of the NFL Draft, should provide a much-needed boost. Teams will have to scheme against McCaffrey right away, which means Newton should be more free to make plays.
With Carolina’s defense returning healthy, and the running game being a force once again, Newton won’t be asked to do it all. And that means we should actually get to enjoy his efforts this season as the Panthers look to right the ship in 2017.