The Carolina Panthers entered last season expecting quarterback Cam Newton—and the entire team—to take the next step. Instead, it seemed like they went sideways.
The Panthers were one of the least active teams in free agency, essentially "trading" free-agent receivers with the New York Giants (incoming Domenik Hixon for departing Louis Murphy).nike 2012 jerseys, Nike nfl jerseys cheap
The Panthers did good work with the five draft picks they had, though, first getting outstanding value with defensive tackle Star Lotulelei in the first round. Guard Edmund Kugbila seemed like a reach, but Nick Parker of Fox Sports Carolinas reports head coach Ron Rivera said Kugbila did a "nice job" in rookie camp.
Really, the Panthers are counting on Newton to take that next step in his progression. If he does, they're a playoff contender. If he doesn't, they're likely not.