Cam Newton will still be number 1 when the NFL season opens in 2012. Newton had wanted the number 2 as a rookie, because it was his number at Auburn when he won a national championship and a Heisman trophy. It was Jimmy Clausen’s at the time, however, and he didn’t want to give it up….he probably didn’t want to give up his starting job too, but then Cam happened.
The jersey number 2 became available, because Clausen has switched to Notre Dame college number 7. With no. 2 available, the Carolina Panthers asked Cam Newton if he was interested and Newton said, “No, thanks.”
Veteran punter Nick Harris snatched no. 2 once Newton said he wasn’t interested.
This was a good move by Newton, because not only has he started to build a legacy around the No. 1 in Panther blue and black, but he also won’t anger the thousands of fans who bought his jersey last year. The number 1 also matches where was selected in the 2011 NFL Draft, and it fits one his favorite new nickname “Ace Boogie”.
The second year quarterback has reportedly improved “through the roof” from last year, and the results of that on the field should be tantalizing. It will be hard for Newton to improve on throwing for more passing yards than any rookie quarterback ever and rushing for more touchdowns than any quarterback ever.
If he does improve on last year’s numbers, then he will be putting up MVP level numbers. Let’s wait and see the extent of Newton’s improvements before we crown him anything yet. For now, we can all just agree to call him number 1.