It’s hard to believe that Cam Newton is already 30 years old, but the former No. 1 overall draft pick has reached the milestone with the Carolina Panthers retooling for another run atop the NFC South.
Newton’s list of accomplishments is lengthy: 2015 NFL MVP, the all-time record holder for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (58), and 182 touchdown passes in eight seasons.
Head coach Ron Rivera, in charge since 2011, is the seventh-longest tenured coach in the NFL and is the only head coach Newton has played for.
Last season started well at 6-2, but a seven-game losing streak derailed the season. Five-straight losses were by seven points or less, and Newton was shut-down for the final two games to protect his health of his throwing shoulder.
Newton says he’s 100 percent going into 2019. The team spent some money in the offseason to help protect their franchise quarterback. Center Matt Paradis was brought over from Denver on a three-year deal worth $27 million, and offensive tackle Daryl Williams was resigned to a one-year contract. Ole Miss offensive tackle Greg Little was picked in the second round of this year’s NFL Draft. Edge rusher Brian Burns, out of Florida State, was selected in the first round and is expected to help lead the transition to a 3-4 defense.
Going into the first full season with David Tepper as owner, plans are in the works to upgrade the fan experience at Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte. Luxury suites at the stadium offer a private entrance and reserved parking, along with fully retractable windows so you can enjoy the game in comfort if the weather isn’t cooperating. A new indoor practice facility is also debuting this training camp.
The NFC South is always unpredictable, so two games apiece against Atlanta, New Orleans, and Tampa Bay will be critical to the Panthers’ success. Other teams coming to Bank of America Stadium this season are the Los Angeles Rams, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington, and Seattle. Road games outside the division will be contested at Arizona, Houston, San Francisco, Green Bay, and Indianapolis.