When the New England Patriots released Cam Newton, it wasn’t a surprise at all. And the way that his career is panning out currently, isn’t a surprise either. The narrative associated with Newton is that he’s often injured, only effective when he’s running, can’t throw deep consistently and is inaccurate. But what critics conveniently like to omit is that Newton suffered all of those injuries while trying to make himself a pocket passer behind an offensive line who couldn’t protect him and refs who wouldn’t, because he didn’t get the kind of roughing the passer calls of other quarterbacks.
What critics also don’t care to bring up is how the Panthers mismanaged Newton’s various injuries before they released him.
When Newton was having shoulder issues in 2018, they let him continue to play and wait until the beginning of that offseason to get surgery.
He was diagnosed with having a high-ankle sprain during a preseason game against the Patriots…ironically. It turned out to be an injury to his Lisfranc. It wasn’t until December that he had surgery on it when he shouldn’t have played during the earlier weeks of the season.
With all of that happening, of course, Newton wouldn’t be the same again.
Off the field, he really never stood a chance either.
From the moment the Carolina Panthers selected Newton with the first pick in 2011, critics and distractors circled around him like vultures at the latest roadkill cookout salivating for a plate.
Nolan Nawrocki infamously said that Newton was ‘very disingenuous, has a fake smile, comes off very scripted and has a selfish me-first make up” Remember that?
Instead of critiquing Newton about some real flaws, in terms of his mechanics and accuracy, this guy spent his scouting report talking about fake smiles and playing to the cameras.
Even Former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson bought into the personal criticism of Newton when he told his franchise player, at the time, not to get any tattoos. Instead of getting Newton help with his mechanics and properly introducing him to throwing in the pocket – both real and valid concerns, Richardson was out here worrying about some damn tattoos. As a result of that, Newton went from clean-cut in appearance to “eccentric”. In hindsight, what we’ve seen from him in this aspect could have been who he was all along.
Eventually, Newton won over a bulk of Panthers’ fans with, not only his play, but also with his work in the community. However, it was that loud minority of people who seemed to carry the most weight in terms of how Newton was perceived.
None of what is happening to Cam Newton is a surprise. It’s just damn shameful that he didn’t get what he needed in terms of management for his injuries or for the way he’s been perceived.