Who's the Bigger Loss: Cam or Luke?
It would be an understatement to say that it has been a rough offseason for Panthers fans.
This has been a period that involved many changes within the organization. Some of the general reactions to said changes have been positive, and some, haven't been as great. The two losses of Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly are what fans seem to be the most upset about. These two were franchise players who were beloved, and within one offseason, both of them left under completely different circumstances. Which loss will hurt the Panthers franchise more moving forward? This question could be viewed as subjective, but from a football standpoint, the answer seems a lot clearer.
Cam Newton is the greatest quarterback to ever wear a Panthers uniform.
The former MVP holds too many records to deny that this is a fact. Newton produced over 29,000 passing yards, over 4,800 rushing yards, and 166 total touchdowns in his career. This includes the 2018 and 2019 seasons in which he was injured. Newton isn't done with football yet, but his time in Carolina came to an abrupt end in late March.
The Panthers moved on after signing Teddy Bridgewater as his replacement, but it seems highly unlikely that Bridgewater will be able to replicate or surpass the statistics that Newton produced in his prime. However, the NFL is all about the now, and right now, Cam Newton is returning from back-to-back season ending injuries. It is difficult for any team to trust that he will return to his prime form, which is one of the main reasons why he is having a tough time with finding a team to sign him. Meanwhile, the Panthers also lost a generational player on the other side of the ball.
Luke Kuechly's retirement shocked the world.
Kuechly's statistics may have slightly declined from what they once were over the past couple of seasons, but he was still considered to be one of the best linebackers in the league. The same can't be said about Cam Newton, who has been sidelined by injuries a lot more than Kuechly has. Kuechly was also a first team NFL All-Pro five times. Newton only received this honor once in his career. He was selected to the Pro Bowl two more times than Newton as well.
Kuechly's sudden retirement due to health concerns was saddening for all fans of the game to see, but his multiple concussions along with the overall punishment that his body had endured made his exit beyond justifiable. The Panthers will never be able to find a true replacement for Kuechly, but they have made adjustments. They signed Tahir Whitehead, but he plays outside linebacker. It seems likely that Shaq Thompson will fulfill the middle linebacker role. We will see if he's ready for the challenge. In the meantime, Luke Kuechly has been the greatest loss that the Panthers have faced this offseason. It will be interesting to see how the team manages on defense moving forward.
What do you think, Panthers fans? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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