The Carolina Panthers asked fans to “choose your GOAT” via their Twitter account on Wednesday, the list three players of the NFL team’s 25-season history.
The choice for the Panthers ‘ greatest player of all time was linebacker Luke Kuechly, defensive end Julius Peppers and receiver Steve Smith.
Not included, as many other speakers have pointed out, has been quarterback Cam Newton, who was released by the Panthers on March 24, with a season left on his contract.
After leading Auburn to the BCS national championship with a record-breaking undefeated and won the Heisman Trophy for the 2010 season, Newton joined the Panthers as the first choice of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Newton has started 122 games at quarterback for Carolina from 2011 until 2018 before a foot injury limited him to two games in 2019.
Newton is the franchise’s all-time passing leader, set an NFL career record for touchdown runs by a quarterback, and earned the 2015 NFL MVP Award by leading the Panthers to their second Super Bowl appearance. He was the NFL Rookie Offensive of the Year in 2011, has received three Pro Bowl invitations, and earned first-team All-Pro recognition once the Carolina QB.
Kuechly has taken his retirement after the season 2019, his eighth with the Panthers. Kuechly was the NFL Rookie Defensive of the Year in 2012 and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He received first-team All-Pro recognition five times and earned seven Pro Bowl invitations.
Peppers spent the first eight and the last two of his 17 seasons in the NFL with Carolina. Its 97 sacks and 107 tackles for loss are the franchise records. Peppers was a first-team All-Pro twice and a Pro Bowler five times with the Panthers.
Smith is Carolina’s all-time receiving leader with 836 catches for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns. Smith has played the first 13 of his 16 seasons in the NFL with the Panthers. He was first-team All-Pro twice and a five time Pro Bowler.
According to the profootballreference.com metric approximate value, Newton is the best player in Carolina’s history, followed by Smith, Kuechly, and bell Peppers.
Newton was able to be signed since he was released by the Panthers.
The FORMER COACH SAYS CAM NEWTON OF THE SITUATION
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow on Twitter @AMarkG1.
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