As a Carolina Panthers fan I feel conflicting emotions about Cam Newton.
One part of me is hopeful after having seen enough from Newton to know he can become of the NFL's great quarterbacks.
But the other part of me is uneasy after seeing how immature and selfish Cam can be, displaying traits that can quickly end a quarterback's career.
While I hope Cam Newton will become the Panthers' franchise quarterback for the next decade-plus, it is still quite possible he could be out of football five years from now.
Don't believe me?
Just look at Vince Young
The Similarities Between Newton and Young
Cam Newton is traveling nearly the exact same NFL path Vince Young started down in 2006.
Young led the Texas Longhorns to the 2005 BCS national title. Newton did the same with the Auburn Tigers in 2010.
Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy while Vince Young finished second in the Heisman voting.
Each player took the NFL by storm during his rookie season, winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year and making a trip to the Pro Bowl.
At 6'5" and 230-plus pounds, both Young and Newton are blessed with physical abilities almost never seen before from NFL quarterbacks, combining size and speed with unprecedented athleticism.
Cam Newton is now in Year 2 of his NFL career.
Vince Young is now out of football and financially broke just six years after his impressive rookie season.
Will Cam Newton Implode?
If you could peek five years into the future, how surprised would you be learn Cam Newton's career is already over?
Me? I would be surprised, but not stunned. There are enough concerns about his personality that it would not be shocking to see him derail at some point.
I recently read a great open letter to Cam Newton expressing our collective love for him as Panthers fans and just how desperately we want him to grow up, be a leader, and make Carolina an elite franchise.
But for now, Cam is still the guy who puts a towel over his head and sulks when things don't go his way.
I hope Newton listens to Steve Smith and begins making quick and noticeable improvements as a leader, avoiding the sad fate of Vince Young.
Five years from now I would not be surprised if Cam Newton is leading the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl. He has that much potential for greatness.
On the other hand, I would not be shocked if Cam was out of the league in five years. He has that much potential for disaster.
I hope he figures it out soon.
Andrew Sweat is a die-hard Panthers fan. For more from this author, visit Andrew's archive or check these out articles:I Attended the Panthers-Giants Game, and It Was…Weird
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