What a tumultuous off-season for the Carolina Panthers and QB Cam Newton.
Sure, Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn were marginal at best (Ginn only catching more than 35 balls in a season once in his career), but the Panthers also released long, tenured veteran WR Steve Smith who eventually went on to sign with the Baltimore Ravens. LaFell went to New England, Ginn to Arizona…
This initially left Cam Newton with WRs Tavarres King and Marvin McNutt.
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With all due respect to them, they are not a Steve Smith, though I did like Marvin McNutt.
Since this, the Panthers have gone out and have signed WRs Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood.
This whole WR thing has me scratching my head. Even after the Smith release, Hakeem Nicks and James Jones were still out there and Mr. Gettleman didn’t manage to sign either. The WRs eventually went on to sign with the Colts and Raiders, respectively.
So now, the Panthers are looking at this for receiving options: Jerricho Cotchery, Tiquan Underwood, Tavarres King, Marvin McNutt, Greg Olsen.
Obviously, WR will likely (and hopefully) be the Panthers fist round focus in this years upcoming NFL Draft. I’ve gone on the record on Twitter saying they should pursue either Brandin Cooks or Kelvin Benjamin. This WR class is deep, but experience is needed.
This does influence Cam Newton’s fantasy value.
Last season, QB Cam Newton threw for nearly 3,400 passing yards with 24 TDs and 13 INTs, but why we love Cam is his rushing ability – 585 rushing yards and 6 TDs.
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The pecking order (today) would likely be: Greg Olsen, Jerricho Cotchery.
I think Cam’s passing totals decrease, and we see more read-option, running offense from the Panthers. Meaning, Cam’s rushing totals should increase.
Projections: 3,218 passing yards, 21 TDs, 14 INTs, 793 rushing yards, 9 TDs.