Carolina Panthers: Time For Better Backup Plan At Quarterback?

Cam Newton is the franchise player for the Carolina Panthers, but it”s always wise to plan long-term at quarterback.

Long-term viability is always a concern for an NFL team—or any other pro team. To achieve that, the leadership of these teams is looking for the pieces needed to build the elusive “franchise.” Examples such as the San Antonio Spurs, New England Patriots and New York Yankees stand out, while few others can join that group. Cam Newton is the current franchise player for the Carolina Panthers, but it’s never too late to look towards the future.

It’s clear that Newton is the leader of the Panthers. His $100 million deal is the first signifier, but he’s also the catalyst for the offense. His ability as a dual threat quarterback is a danger to any team standing opposite of him. At the same time, it’s also a danger to his long-term durability. A few days ago, Newton underwent successful surgery to repair a torn right rotator cuff. According to team trainer Ryan Vermillion, the surgery went well, per ESPN’s David Newton.

That’s great news for Panthers fans. They should expect Newton to be ready for the start of the 2017 season—or at least they hope. Shoulder surgery is a huge question mark for any player, but especially one with the play style that Newton employs.

Will his ability to lower his shoulder to run for extra yards will be inhibited, or will have the confidence to do so after dealing with this serious surgery. Expectations may be that Newton will have a full recovery, but the leadership in Charlotte should be prepared to make moves for the future.

What do those moves look like? The Panthers have eight picks to use during the upcoming NFL Draft. While the team has Derek Anderson, Joe Webb and Garrett Gilbert on the roster, there’s a growing conversation around the possibility they could pick up a cheap option this year.

They have worked out Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs. There are many options in this year’s draft and the Panthers could find a player at some point that can become a long-term solution should Newton find himself injured once again.

Preparation is not a negative thing in the professional sports industry. Teams are expected to do all that they can to win now. Cam Newton is the best quarterback for this team and has shown the ability to be one of the best in the league. Yet, he’s coming off of an injury and surgery that can hinder how he plays his role.

The Panthers need to be prepared if he’s out for any extended period of time. And the 2017 NFL Draft is a strong opportunity for the team to make a move to impact both the present and the future.

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