Anyone who is a Carolina Panther’s fan has more than likely heard by now that wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin had some harsh criticism for quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers as a whole on Saturday.
Benjamin, who publicly spoke out for the first time since his trade, commented to The Athletic that “had he been put with an accurate quarterback, like [Aaron] Rodgers or Eli Manning” or a quarterback with “knowledge”, he would have been in a better position for success as a wide receiver. Not only were his comments seemingly out of left field for his former teammate and friend, but there are many reasons why these statements are simply not true.
Excitement is high today as the Chargers got what some are calling the biggest steal of round one, selecting FSU Safety Derwin James at the number 17 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Many are surprised that he was still on the board when the Chargers were on the clock, so it was an obvious choice for the Bolts to make the call.
After not resigning free safety Tre Boston, the Chargers had an obvious need at this position. James told the Chargers in his interview with head coach Anthony Lynn, that he is willing to play any position they need, further adding to his value.
What an interesting week it has been for Panther players and fans.
First, there was news that linebacker Shaq Thompson is getting sued for a 2016 car accident he was involved in. Then, there was panic surrounding the news that quarterback Cam Newton got in another car accident and somehow collided with a dump truck (Thankfully, he is fine).
But perhaps the most devastating news of all, came two days ago: that LB Thomas Davis will serve a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy performance-enhancing substances.
It didn’t take long when the news broke for Davis to post a heartfelt and apologetic video on Twitter addressing Panther fans and the situation. In light of this recent news, I wanted to take an opportunity to reflect on the amazing player that Davis has always been, on and off the field for Charlotte and surrounding communities.
Quarterback Philip Rivers became the official starter for the Chargers in 2006. Since that time, he has started every game and has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in 9 of his 12 seasons as the Chargers quarterback. He has led his team to the playoffs 5 times and has been selected as a pro-bowler six times over his career.
Perhaps his most impressive feat though is the fact that he led the Chargers to win the AFC West division title four years in a row from 2006-2009. Sadly, all of their playoff appearances have ended in heartbreak and Rivers has never reached the SuperBowl. Because of this, Rivers accomplishments thus far seem to be downplayed and his numbers overlooked.
With his contract set to expire in 2019 and Rivers turning 37 this year, it has been speculated that he will continue to play for several more years. As of right now, Rivers future at quarterback is unknown, but he deserves to end his career with the ultimate football accomplishment: a Lombardi.
This upcoming season for the Chargers may be one of the most important seasons yet. According to ESPN, since their move from San Diego to Los Angeles, their attendance for their home games has declined by over 50% from the 2016 to 2017 season. Since they are sharing a city, and eventually a stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, the competition is on more than ever to draw fans in.
There are still many disgruntled fans in San Diego who dis-owned the Chargers (Dean Spanos) after they seemingly abandoned their home city. So where do they need to start to build their fan base back up? The answer is simple: they need to win, and they need to win now.
On Friday, it was announced that the Carolina Panthers are trading cornerback Daryl Worley to Philadelphia, in exchange for wide receiver, Torrey Smith. Many fans are understandably already skeptical of this latest transaction from now official general manager, Marty Hurney.
While it is undeniable that the Panthers need to get quarterback Cam Newton some offensive weapons, it is unclear that Torrey Smith was the best option, or is going to be able to fill the shoes of WR1. It is yet to be seen what other free agent wide receivers will be getting paid around the league, but Smith comes with a $5 million price tag for the next two years, while Darryl Worley would have cost $650,000 in 2018. For many fans, that is a tough pill to swallow.
For me, waking up on football Sunday is equivalent to a kid waking up on Christmas morning. Football has always been my favorite sport and a pretty big part of my life. I was Born in San Diego, CA but bred in Charlotte, NC, which is how I developed my love for both the Chargers and the Panthers. My dad has always been a huge Charger fan, so I was born into the fanbase. My family also quickly adopted the Panthers as a second team after settling in Charlotte. The older I got, I learned more and more about football, and I was hooked. My love for football was taken to a whole new level in 2008 when I started regularly attending Panther games with my boyfriend. Since that time, I have very rarely missed a home game and I have even traveled to several away games!