Carolina Panthers announce captains for 2013 season

Elsa

It took a little rule bending, but Cam Newton finally made it.

The Carolina Panthers announced their team captains this afternoon. Cam Newton headlines the group, hopefully putting to rest questions about whether the 3rd year quarterback is ready to be a leader.

Newton is joined by Luke Kuechly, Steve Smith, Jordan Gross, Ryan Kalil and Thomas Davis. None of the other selections should come as a surprise based on what players said this offseason. It has become clear that Kuechly is the leader of the Panthers' defense, and that he would get a patch -- but there were major questions about Cam, as it appeared he would be up against long-standing offensive veterans.

Ron Rivera announced earlier in the week that changes would be made to the captaincy structure. Rather than picking two players from offense, defense, and special teams -- six players would be named, regardless of position. This opened up the door for Newton, and avoided any awkwardness. It was a shrewd move by the organization.

Losing captaincy this year are Jordan Senn and Jon Beason, both of whom were captains in 2012.

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