The Carolina Panthers have no choice but to get Cam Newton some help. For the last three seasons, Newton has pretty much been on an island by himself. The addition of Christian McCaffrey has helped this year, but he’s still a running back being used as a wide receiver. What happens when Jonathan Stewart is either released, traded, or calls it quits, who will carry the load then?
While many will point to that magical 2015 season when the Panthers won 15 games without Kelvin Benjamin in their breakout year, you could also look to 2016 and 2017 for points on why that season may have been just a mirage. For his career, according to Sports Reference, Newton is a 58 percent passer. That’s nowhere near elite level. A majority of that has to do with Newton over or underthrowing receivers but plenty can be attributed to a lack of good skill position players. While he’s had chemistry with the likes of Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, Benjamin, and Ted Ginn, Newton is now forced to throw his trust in Devin Funchess, Kaelin Clay, and Russell Shepard. It’s time for an upgrade.
There’s no need to search the NFL Combine for rookies. What the Carolina Panthers need is a veteran player like Odell Beckham who can stretch the field while opening lanes for McCaffrey, Stewart, and Newton to run the ball. It sounds simple, but yet the Panthers have failed in this department. Imagine how different their playoff game against the New Orleans Saints would have gone if Beckham were in uniform.
Moving forward, Newton must have a receiver who can be his Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, or DeAndre Hopkins. A player with Newton’s abilities should not be hovering around the 23 touchdowns he throws almost annually. While Newton still uses his legs rather often to escape trouble, he often leaves himself open for dangerous hits. This is where a player like Odell Beckham will come in handy. Beckham has the smarts to give his quarterback an escape option as he’s prone to keep a play alive. Playing with the non-mobile Eli Manning has taught him that and pairing him with a player like Newton will make Beckham one of the most dangerous weapons in the game.
Cam Newton threw for 349 yards and 2 TDs with 0 INTs and a 105.1 passer rating to a mostly practice squad WR corp.
Lord PLEASE give this man some weapons and let him fly.???????? pic.twitter.com/dDWuQxsyaT
— CAR Panthers News (@CarPanthersNews) January 8, 2018
In New York, the Giants were one of the worst when it came to running the ball. Defenses who respect the run cannot play an extra defender in the secondary to double a wide receiver. In Carolina, Beckham will see mostly man coverage, and we all know how well that works for him. During his time with the Giants, Beckham has caught 313 passes for 4424 yards and 38 touchdowns. With the Giants moving in a new direction with the hiring of Dave Gettleman, there’s no telling what that means for Beckham who will be a free agent in 2019. Former and current Panthers’ players know that Gettleman is not the guy to shell out a ton of money when he thinks he can draft a better and cheaper player. This may work in the Panthers’ favor if Gettleman is willing to deal with his old team.
If so, then the Panthers will make a smart decision in reaching out to the New York Giants to see what the price tag is for Odell Beckham. Cam Newton needs the help bad.