Cam doesn't have average arm strength, he's well above average. He doesn't throw an average deep ball, he's elite in that area. He is the most elusive QB I have ever seen, and an incredible scrambler.
Cam is closer to average as far as his short and mid-range accuracy is concerned.
I don't care about the lockout as far as Cam's play was concerned in the first half of the season. All any fan would need to do is watch Cam complete deep passes to covered revievers in the GB, AZ, or whichever early season game you prefer, and you can tell it wasn't "lockout" magic that put the ball right on the money. The DBs were in position to make a play, but the throws were perfect and couldn't be defended. That's what is pissing fans off, the idea that those throws don't count because the lockout hurt opposing defenses. The lockout hurt Cam as well. The throws count, and so do the shitty passes and INTs he threw in the first half of the season.
The cause of Cam's decline in stats was due to opposing defenses focusing on taking away the deep ball, and giving Cam mid-range targets that he struggled to hit on a consistant basis. The plan worked to a certain extent, and now the ball is in our court as to how to counter the new defensive strategy.
Actually the stats don't support that he dropped off that much in any department. His yards per attempt went down from a ridiculous 8.6 yards in September to a still well above average of 8.0 in December. In September he had 16 passes of over 20 yards and in December had 12 so not a huge drop off. His passer rating went up 85.1 in September to 100.4 in December. His TD/Ints went from 4-4 to 8-2. So I pointed out September versus December and the first 5 games versus the last 5 in another post and the reality is that Newton improved in a number of stats and was still solid in others if they went down. It is actually incumbent on the league to show they have him figured out not the other way around.