For Cam Newton and Panthers fans across the country, the Quarterback’s MVP season and the team’s 2015 Super Bowl run seems like a lifetime ago. Newton’s health has hurt the team in the past several seasons, and he recently had his second shoulder surgery in the last three years. Many have since speculated that 2015 was a fluke for Newton and that he has come back to earth. However, for those who have watched the Panthers play these past few years, it is painfully obvious that Newton’s shoulder has affected his play on the field. Newton was even shut down in late 2018 despite the Carolina Panthers still being in the playoff hunt. According to the Panthers, Newton underwent arthroscopic surgery earlier this offseason, but no timetable was set for his return. Many believe he will be ready to go by the start of the 2019 season, but the draft in late April brought about more questions for the team’s franchise Quarterback.
In the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Panthers drafted West Virginia Quarterback, Will Grier. This was the first time the team had drafted a QB since Newton in 2011. Grier racked up 37 touchdowns with just eight interceptions on his way to a fourth-place Heisman finish in the 2018 season. With Grier being drafted in the third round and Newton undergoing another surgery, questions about Newton’s future with the team surfaced. However, the team has made it very clear that Cam is in no danger of losing his starting job. Grier himself even acknowledged the fact that it is still Cam’s team saying,
“That’s really what I am here to do is to support Cam and be there for him and push him and make him better and be there for anything he needs. But also, my job is to be ready to go when my name is called.”Will Grier
However, despite Grier saying all the right things, Cam was asked about his thoughts on the team’s selection while addressing the media. In a video posted on Twitter by Josh Sims (@JoshFox46), Newton talked about the fact that he doesn’t feel intimidated. He even went on to say that he had seen Grier play in the Charlotte area and believes him to have a special talent. Newton continued explaining that he wants to be the best teammate he can be and is willing to help Grier in any way he can.
The simple fact is that Cam Newton remains the Panthers starting Quarterback for the foreseeable future. The notion that’s expected is Cam will be fully healthy to return to his MVP form, while Grier will support him and be prepared to step up if any setbacks occur. If anything, Grier will help motivate Cam who is no stranger to adversity. Newton has been criticized throughout his career for being a sub-par thrower and for his flamboyance during the team’s 2015 season. What this season will come down to is whether or not Cam’s shoulder will be at 100%. Furthermore, the team did not bolster their receiving core this offseason, which has been an issue for quite some time now. It appears the team will rely on sophomore receiver D.J. Moore to step up as the number one reciever after letting Devin Funchess go in free agency. It is evident to assume that they will also look to RB Christian McCaffrey, who was the team’s leading receiver in 2018 with 867 yards on a team-high 124 targets (ESPN). The Panthers will open the regular season at home against the Rams on September 8th.