The 2021 NWSL draft was a monumental moment in the progression of soccer in the United States, particularly when it comes to young black girls and women. Five days before MLK day, not only were 2 of the top 3 picks black women but, the six black women selected in the first ten picks set a new NWSL record.
Far-Fetched Friday: Cam Newton Leads a Team to the Playoffs
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Far Fetched Friday edition is dedicated to one of the most under-appreciated quarterbacks of recent years, Cameron Jerrell Newton.
For whatever reason, the Carolina Panthers decided to let go of Cam Newton. Instead, opting for Teddy Bridgewater. This series of events was a bit surprising given everything Cam Newton did for a franchise that was in definite need of a star. He led the franchise to a Super Bowl berth in 2015, in a record-breaking season that saw him throw for 35 touchdowns and run for another ten while only throwing ten interceptions. What Cam Newton marked was a new era of success for the Panthers, along with Ron Rivera and Luke Kuechly.
Ron Rivera was hired in 2011, the same season Cam Newton was drafted, and Luke Kuechly was drafted a year later in 2012. Behind Cam's MVP, Kuechly's record-setting defensive numbers, and Rivera's Coach of The Year Award, the trio were at the center of Carolina's improbable Super Bowl berth that marked the peak of a new era for the Panthers. Rivera was 54 in only his 5th season as a head coach, Kuechly was 25 with a resume that already boasted a DPOY Trophy, as the youngest player to ever do so, and Cam Newton was the 27-year-old superstar quarterback who did things his way. The future looked bright for Cam and the Panthers.
However, the NFL shows us time and time again that things rarely go as planned.
Ron Rivera was fired in December of 2019, a month later, Luke Kuechly became the latest NFL Superstar to retire at a surprisingly young age.
Once Luke Kuechly and Ron Rivera were gone, it seemed more likely that Cam Newton would also leave.
Rivera immediately found a new job with the Washington Redskins, while Cam Newton doesn't currently seem to have many options. A surprising turn of events for a 30-year-old former MVP.
Admittedly Cam Newton only played 2 games for the Panthers last season, but it was the first time in his career he played any less than 14. The critique is since Cam relied on his elite athleticism early in his career and is no longer the same athlete he once was after a string of surgeries, teams are less likely to gamble on him. If this is the case, it is an inaccurate criticism considering the last time Cam played a full season in 2018, he completed a career-high 67% of his passes, which was top 10 in the NFL. The only other criticism may be down to his enigmatic leadership style, but by all accounts, his ex-teammates are very fond of him.
This reeks a lot of the Peyton Manning situation from 2012, where the Colts were willing to part ways, and only a handful of teams showed genuine interest. Manning turned that situation into another MVP and a Super Bowl Trophy. Cam isn't Peyton Manning, but his resume is up there with the best of the best.
The NFL is moving towards the age of the mobile Quarterback, and Cam Newton was one of the major pioneers. He became the first elite running-quarterback to win an MVP Trophy, and along with Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, proved that style could lead to a super bowl.
The NFL seems to have given up on Cam Newton. Labeling him the aging Quarterback whose reliance on his once elite athleticism is now betraying him. The antithesis of Tom Brady.
I am here to state that I still believe in Cam Newton.
The cerebral nature of his game has always been underrated, and it's only a matter of time before superman dusts off his cape and takes flight once again.
In 2020/21 Cameron Newton will return to his best, and lead a team to a playoff berth.
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