“They Gave Up On Me.” — Cam Newton
Former Carolina Panthers legend Cam Newton passed his physical and now he will begin to figure out a way to make the haters, critics and those who abandoned him when he was recovering from injuries, pay dearly.
Panthers owner Dave Tepper and new head coach Matt Rule, who seems to be no more than a tool at this point, are the first targets. Cam gave 9 blood, sweat and guts years to Carolina, leading them to a Super Bowl in 2015, and never once did his surrounding parts ever elevate him.
Cam carried a franchise that was consistently undermanned on offense, lacking top-flight receivers and counting on him to take the hits, the chances, the glory, and the criticism.
He got paid well for it too, but his crown was always heavy. So was his style of play. He was the first rookie in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. Quite an accomplishment for someone who’s passing acumen has been criticized over the years.
His decade run with Carolina took a franchise that nobody really cared about and made it one the NFL’s most popular. You won’t see the Panthers on national television as much with Cam on the move.
The ups and down, Cam handled it all with grace. He became a cultural fixture in the league and one of its most popular players. Cam had everybody dabbing and thinking about the kids, after a TD.
A bloodthirsty media tried to trip him up a couple of times and place labels on him like “chauvinist” and paint him as the example of toxic masculinity when we all know Cam is just chilling. He “hit different” in the words of Uncle Murda.
In his words, “I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven’t seen nothing they can compare me to.”
— John Obbo (@jfjabbo) February 6, 2016
End of the day, Cam is a superstar football player, not a politician. He’s clearly shown that he cares about people, despite his loud choice of fashion and attention-grabbing persona. He also speaks from the heart and it’s not his fault if the magnitude of his football accomplishments, his charisma, and attractive qualities thrust him into a role as one of the faces of the NFL just as he encountered some injuries.
Cam did his best to embrace it and for a stretch, he was on top of the world. When healthy, he was a perennial All-Pro.
Imagine if the Patriots got rid of Tom Brady after his ninth season. Brady had a span from 2006-2014 when the Patriots didn’t go to the Super Bowl. People said Brady was finished, but Bellichick made some adjustments and put the proper prices around Brady as he got older and eventually the Dynasty was back on track, running off three more titles and solidifying Brady’s legacy as the GOAT.
Last week, Brady got $50 million at age 43 to sign with the Bucs.
Nobody has any freakin patience anymore. All of this ego and bravado from these coaches and execs is often misplaced. How about embracing the challenge, instead of starting all over. The Panthers could have waited to see if Cam could go. It’s not like Teddy Bridgewater is an immediate upgrade.
There are questions surrounding both quarterbacks’ ability to make it through the season. But if I had to put money on someone it would be Cam Newton. He’s one of the greatest warriors at the position the NFL has ever seen. A cultural icon.
Greg Olson, one of Cam’s favorite targets still has faith in Cam and thinks he can still be a star.
Who Will Sign Cam?
The Chargers and Bears need to be on the phone with Cam yesterday. What the heck are they waiting for? This won’t be the first time the NFL gave up on a brother so Cam should take it personally but understand that it’s still a business.
No more diva treatment. If Cam still loves the game, he’ll have to work up from the bottom again. It might not seem fair when guys like Nick Foles –who has a fluke Super Bowl win and never played a full season, and Ryan Tannehill who had 11 decent games last season — are clamored for.
The tides shift quickly in the NFL and in reality Cam’s just a couple of TD passes away from being back on top. Right now though, he’s probably the most disrespected superstar in sports.