Cam Newton had been one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL ever since he broke into the NFL. He took his Panthers to the Super Bowl and looked like it would be a regular occurrence to make it deep into the NFL playoffs each year. However, something happened with the Carolina Panthers in 2016 and they completely fell apart. Carolina finished in last place in the NFC South, winning only six games, and Cam finished the season ranked 28th in the NFL in quarterback rating.

Cam Newton’s struggles in 2016

Cam Newton saw his numbers dip horribly in 2016.

To explain how bad Newton really was last year, consider that Case Keenum, Blake Bortles, Trevor Siemian, Colin Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor all had a better quarterback rating than Newton’s career-low 75.8. One season after throwing for 35 touchdowns, Newton only threw 19 in 2016. His interception numbers rose to 14, the second highest of his career. He also rushed for the fewest yards of his career, with only 359 total rushing yards and tied a career low with five rushing touchdowns.

What happened to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in 2016? Newton spoke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about his belief that he took a number of illegal hits to his head last season from opposing defenses.

Cam was worried about concussions and he was getting hit so many times that some feared his career would end prematurely. He underwent shoulder surgery after the season ended and he won’t start working until training camp is underway.

Newton and his swagger

When a player gets hit as much as Cam Newton, it affects them psychologically.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback said that his main goal in 2017 is to get his swag back and to help the Panthers get their swag back. Newton also said that it is time for Carolina to start having fun again and the wins will come. Newton took a sabbatical after the 2016 NFL season ended because he considers his relationship with football to be a “love-hate relationship” and he was starting to hate it.

Cam Newton went and lost weight in the offseason, hoping that he can move quicker in 2017. With his body feeling better than ever, Newton said that he is excited to play again and he wants that excitement to be contagious and to spread to his Carolina Panthers teammates this year. If Carolina wants to win again this season, they need Newton to be at 100-percent, both mentally and physically, and it sounds like he is there mentally.