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Panthers GM: Cam Newton’s record is the ‘elephant in the room,’ which is ridiculous

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Well, there's no safe haven anymore. The foolish arguments about a quarterback's win-loss record usually come from those who don't understand that football is a team game. Not from general managers.

The Carolina Panthers were 2-14 the season before they drafted Cam Newton. Since then the team has done almost very little to help him on offense. Unless you count signing Domenik Hixon, or severely overpaying running backs as some great help to his development. The Panthers have basically given Newton an aging Steve Smith and wished him the best of luck. He's turned that into 7,920 passing yards over two seasons, which is fairly astonishing.

So, yes, the Panthers are 13-19 the last two years. Cam Newton is not 13-19. Newton isn't 13-19 any more than DeAngelo Williams, Jordan Gross or Charles Johnson are 13-19. Judging a quarterback solely on his record is even worse than judging a baseball pitcher on his record, and the latter is obviously poor.

But, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman went down that road, though he should be much more savvy than that.

“Cam has had the best two years of any rookie quarterback in NFL history. And everybody talks about the other young (quarterbacks),” Gettleman said to the Charlotte Observer. “What he's done has been completely lost in the sauce because of the elephant in the room – the 13-19 record.”

The Observer said Gettleman (who is on his first year on the job and can't be totally blamed for giving Newton the worst supporting cast among the NFL's elite quarterbacks) paused for seven seconds when asked if Newton was the quarterback to build around, before answering, "Yes, he is. But now it's time to win."

So, he readily admits that Newton has had "the best two years of any rookie quarterback in NFL history," but needs time to think about whether he's the quarterback to build around because of the record of the Carolina Panthers' football team. Like none of Newton's teammates play into that. Like having a worse quarterback would generate a better record. Got it. Newton's general manager admitted that Newton has done his job as well as any quarterback in NFL history through two years. That's what Newton can control. He has done his job spectacularly. Not everyone else on the Panthers can say the same, or the team would have a better record. And then the people who hold onto ridiculous notions like judging a quarterback on his team's win-loss record would recognize how great Newton has been.

Please don't be fooled into believing a team's won-loss record is the only line on a quarterback's resume. It's the most flawed argument in sports. A NFL football team is made up of 53 players. Maybe if the Carolina Panthers' front office would acquire more players who were as good at their job as Newton is at his, we wouldn't be subjected to this inane debate.

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