The Carolina Panthers were at the top of their game during the 2018 season, but they couldn’t keep it together when things got tough. It’s a stark reminder that while players are quickly catching on to blockchain technology and how it could change all industries, this is just one step in an evolution process for professional football.
When the Carolina Panthers announced that Cam Newton would be returning, most supporters were ecstatic. The Panthers’ fans were mostly disappointed with how Newton’s stint with the organization ended, and many were hoping to see him return after his abrupt release from the New England Patriots.
When you add in Sam Darnold’s poor start to the 2021 season, most Panthers supporters were ready for a change as quarterback.
The Panthers made an emotional, rather than a rational, choice.
Eric Espada/Getty Images/Cam Newton
The Panthers needed to make a quarterback change. There’s no way to argue with it. Darnold was having a terrible season while also suffering from a slew of ailments. It was becoming more evident that he had little chance of having a successful 2021 season.
However, this does not immediately imply that the choice to sign Newton was a good one.
Newton obviously has a particular connection to Carolina, which made him a top free agency possibility once Darnold was put on injured reserve. However, in the middle of all the hoopla, it’s important to remember Newton’s condition. After a disappointing preseason, the Patriots dismissed him over the offseason, and he’s been training (?) at home ever since.
It’s difficult to believe Newton was doing all he could to stay in NFL shape at home during the first two months of the season. It’s hard to replicate the intricacies of operating an NFL offense, reading a playbook, and so on.
Against the Miami Dolphins, Cam Newton was exposed.
After a shaky start against the Washington Redskins in Week 11, Newton was welcomed to the NFL with a triumph against the Miami Dolphins the following week.
Newton completed 5-of-21 passes for 92 yards and two interceptions. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule eventually benched Newton in favor of backup PJ Walker, putting an end to his dreadful performance.
Newton was befuddled and acted erratically throughout the day. To put it frankly, he seemed to be a quarterback who had been out of the league for some months.
The Panthers are beginning to resemble a dysfunctional organization.
Cam Newton, my my goodness, was terrible today!!! Sheesh
November 28, 2021 — Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25)
The Panthers have struggled to replace the starting quarterback position at every step since releasing Newton before the start of the 2020 season. Teddy Bridgewater was released after just one year of his three-year, $60 million deal. During the 2021 NFL Draft, they passed on interesting prospects Mac Jones and Justin Fields in favor of trading for Sam Darnold, who had a disastrous season. With an aging, regressing Cam Newton as quarterback, they’re back to square one.
Most functioning clubs do not follow this route to getting a franchise quarterback.
For what it’s worth, the Panthers have done an excellent job constructing their defense in recent years. The defensive end tandem of Brian Burns and Haasan Reddick is perhaps the greatest in the league. At safety, Jeremy Chinn is a rising star. The acquisition of CB Stephon Gilmore was a wise decision. The Panthers, on the other hand, haven’t shown the same degree of proficiency at quarterback, the most important position on the field.
The Panthers are in a bit of a bind going forward as a result of this blundering Cam Newton experiment. Newton has been informed that Darnold, who is under contract through 2022, will be considered for the starting job as well. Both are poor choices. Several Panthers players, though, are expected to lobby for Newton because of his contagious nature.
In any case, the Panthers are in a horrible place looking ahead owing to their own ineptitude.
Pro Football Reference provided all stats.
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