Carolina Panthers Cam Newton drops to 44th in NFL player rankings. Is it fair?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has dropped to number 44 in the NFL’s annual ranking of players. Ranked number 1 overall last season, Newton dropped a whopping 43 spots. Of course, this is nothing new for Newton, as his entire career as been a constant ebb and flow.

So why is this the case? An objective look at the Carolina Panthers as a whole gives us a good indication. After all, Cam is not the only player on the field that contributes to his own success. The quarterback position more than any other depends on everyone around him.

In 2016, Newton dealt with less than stellar offensive line play the entire season. This resulted in a physical beating early in the season, including several instances of head hunting by his opponents. A quarterback can take only so many shots to the head with no protection from NFL officials before it starts to effect his play. Cam Newton is no different.

Newton had the best offensive line of his career in 2015. The result was the NFL MVP award and the number one ranking overall. Coincidence? Hardly.

Naming Cam Newton the 44th best player in the league is probably fair as a prospective ranking. The Carolina Panthers have far from a proven offensive line once again. We have no idea if Matt Kalil will work out at left tackle. Who will start at right tackle is still very much up in the air. Taking those factors into consideration, Carolina Panthers fans should probably be satisfied with the 44th ranking and hope for a healthy and happy Cam Newton this season. If that happens, I think you can expect a top 10 ranking next year.

Jeremy Igo is owner of Carolina Huddle. Based in Charlotte, he has covered the Carolina Panthers for over a decade.