Cam Newton hasn't looked like Cam Newton in quite some time. The former MVP wasn't at his best in 2018 before getting shut down with a shoulder injury. He took his recovery slowly, but was expected to be fully healthy for the beginning of the Panthers' season.
As it turns out, that wasn't the case. Newton looked okay in Week 1 before completely falling apart in Week 2. The news broke on Monday that Newton was struggling with a foot injury and his status was in doubt for Week 3. Naturally, this opens up the divisive superstar to criticism from all sides, including but not limited to Paul Finebaum and the Get Up crew. Finebaum was adamant that we were not seeing the beginning of the end of Newton, but rather the end has already arrived (full video can be found here):
We're not watching the beginning of the end. It is the end. It's over for Cam Newton. I don't know why we're mincing words and trying to find a pretty way to put it, but I think he's a trainwreck right now, he can't do what he used to do. And quite frankly, forget the sympathy towards him. Cam Newton has never cared about anything other than Cam Newton, and that doesn't mean he shouldn't be given the opportunity, but he's brought this franchise down. It's over for Cam Newton. Nice knowing you, but you're done.- Paul Finebaum on Get Up
First and foremost, Finebaum should probably pump the brakes on the personal attacks. I don't think anyone in Carolina would argue that Newton, who brought them their first NFC title since 2004 and is one of the most electrifying players in the league when healthy, brought down the franchise in any manner. If Newton only cared about himself to the degree Finebaum suggests, then I very much doubt he would have stepped foot on the field in the past 10 months given the various injuries he's suffered.
This may well be the end of Newton. Being the premier rushing quarterback of this decade takes a toll on the human body that is rarely seen in other quarterbacks. Newton hasn't always had the best accuracy, but more than made up for that deficiency as a threat to break out into the open field at any moment. He wasn't the perfect quarterback, but he put his body on the line far more than his fair share in his pursuit to win. Say what you may about Newton's current status as a player, but to say he only ever cared about himself feels disingenuous.