Now that they have invested the first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft and the future of their franchise in him, some experts are saying the Carolina Panthers need to be patient with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. We wholeheartedly disagree.
While we weren’t fans of Newton’s selection at the top of the draft, now that the kid is in the fold, the Panthers need to play him. Having him sit behind (insert name of random veteran quarterback here) or Jimmy Clausen will only bury the franchise further. The Panthers need some kind of return from Newton as soon as possible, even if it is just to put people in the stands. I frankly don’t think Newton will ever become a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback, but if the Panthers were looking to make a splash with the top pick rather than making a solid move, they can’t go halfway with it.
Carolina needs to instantly become Newton’s team or he’ll never have a chance to succeed. The Panthers are in the middle of a youth movement, and if another quarterback comes in and earns the respect of the roster while Newton sits, it could cause friction when it’s time for the Heisman Trophy winner to step up.
Carolina put itself in this boat by selecting Newton with the top pick. The franchise went for flash over a more solid selection. A player like Patrick Peterson, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green or Von Miller would have made an impact right away. Taking Newton with the top pick doesn’t make sense unless you expect a return instantly.
I’m not saying Newton needs to start opening day, but planning to sit him for a year or two makes absolutely no sense. The Panthers have to see what they have, what him limitations will be and what they need to do to help him or it could be a long few years in Charlotte.