QB #1: Cam Newton
The Carolina Panthers made a statement this offseason that they believe in Newton as their franchise quarterback, offering a contract extension over $100 million dollars. The former Auburn Tiger became the leader of this offense shortly after the team selected him first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. This is a role he is now expected to hold through the 2020 season.
Newton is a true dual-threat player from the quarterback position averaging 3,606 passing yards and 642 rushing yards per season. The 6’5”, 245 pound quarterback has the physical frame to withstand the punishment of running the ball and be able to stay healthy. Newton has missed only two games in four seasons, with both games coming this past season. However, one missed game was due to injuries from his car accident in December.
Even with all the success he has had to this point, Newton still has a lot of doubters. Many will point to his record (30-31) or the fact that he only has one playoff win in four seasons. However, at only 26 years of age he still has room to grow. The team has added a number of weapons on the offensive side of the ball that should help him reach that next level.
QB #2: Derek Anderson
Not every team can say they have a former Pro Bowl quarterback sitting on the bench ready to step in. The Panthers are lucky to have a player like Derek Anderson and he was one of the reasons the team was able to win their second consecutive NFC South division title.
Anderson was asked to start two games in place of the injured Newton. He did exactly what he needed to and played very well in the spot starts. He played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in both games and completed 66% of his passes, throwing for 507 passing yards, three touchdowns and no turnovers.
This past season showed Anderson has a great feel for this offense and can step in for an extended period of time, if the need arises. Entering the 2014 season, the Panthers may not have been able to say that with Anderson throwing a total of four passes in the past three regular seasons.
QB #3: Joe Webb
While Joe Webb is listed as a quarterback on the Panthers’ roster he has been seeing more playing time as a wide receiver. He could step in as an emergency quarterback based on the fact that he did play the position with the Minnesota Vikings. He is similar to Newton in that he is a mobile quarterback and can make plays through the air as well as with his feet.
The Panthers made a number of moves to upgrade their roster this offseason and Webb could be fighting for a spot. However, he has a strong case to stay on the roster with all the different roles he can play from being that third quarterback, line up at wide receiver and play special teams. This type of versatility should allow him to stick with this team this season.
Brandon Croce is the Lead Publisher for PantherInsider.com. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonCroce.