Earlier tonight on NFL Network the players who were ranked 50th-41st were featured on the NFL Top 100 list, and as many of us expected Panthers QB Cam Newton was among the players mentioned.
Newton dropped six spots from his rank of #40 overall last year to #46 on this year's list, and even though we'd like to see him mentioned in the top 20 his ranking is fair. We must remember that Cam did slightly regress statistically in 2012, and his efforts in the second half of the season -- while great -- were only good enough to add one more win to the win/loss column.
Whether we like it or not, the players who vote on this list don't look at things the same way fans do. They're not going to give Cam bonus points because he dealt with an offensive coordinator who refused to abandon the read option -- even when it wasn't generating offense -- for most of the season, and they're not going to feel sorry for him because he lost his All-Pro center to injury midway through the year.
They look at two things -- stats and wins, and Cam regressed in his passing yards and touchdown (both rushing and passing) totals from his 2011 campaign. To his peers he didn't deserve to move higher up in the rankings, so it's really no surprise that he fell six spots from last year.
Two of the people they interviewed -- Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy and Saints DE Cameron Jordan -- had positive things to say about Cam, but Broncos defensive back Champ Bailey had a different opinion of the Panthers' signal caller.
When asked his opinion of Newton, Bailey said he wasn't impressed with what he saw in the young quarterback when the Panthers played Denver last season.
He's definitely not in my top-10 quarterbacks. I remember playing him, and he didn't impress me.
Potential ... off the charts. He can do some things great. It's just, I think as a quarterback, it's more mental.
I just think he needs to concentrate on that more than just the physical part of his game. He's got a lot of work to do.
While they were playing the clips from Bailey's interview they showed Cam's meltdown and bumping of referee Jerome Boger when he didn't get a roughing the passer call against the Raiders in Week 16, and I've yet to find a good reason for them to play that highlight.
Sure, they also showed the part where Cam apologized to Boger, but showing that clip was unnecessary in a highlight package showing why Newton was voted the #46 player in 2013. There were a lot of moments that Newton had during his 2012 season that could have been shown, but the NFL decided it was a good idea to show that one for some strange reason. I guess it's just fun to hate on Cam Newton. C'est la vie, I suppose.
If you were only watching the NFL Top 100 to see where Panthers players rank on the list, you can skip the rest of the series, because it was announced on the show tonight that Cam is the highest rated Panthers player on the board. So, with Steve Smith ranked #84 and Luke Kuechly ranked #79, we will once again see a NFL Top 100 without Charles Johnson on it.
What else does Big Money have to do to get some respect anyway? Oh well, maybe next year.
If you missed tonight's episode and you want to see Cam's highlight reel, you can watch it here.
What do you think Panthers fans? Should Cam be ranked higher, lower, or is #46 just right? Should there have been more Panthers on the list? Tell us what you think!