Carolina Panthers

Panthers extra points: Cam Newton not a leader? New contract for Greg Olsen?

A former NFL player questioned Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s leadership skills last week. But his return from shoulder surgery is the story we should be tracking.
A former NFL player questioned Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton’s leadership skills last week. But his return from shoulder surgery is the story we should be tracking. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

▪  Former NFL player Anthony “Booger” McFarland created a mini-stir with this comment last week: “People I talk to in Carolina tell me Cam’s not a leader and not well liked by a lot of his teammates.”

Look, there are 90 players in the Panthers’ locker room. I think you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s liked by all of the other 89 guys. Cam has a different kind of leadership approach, and his taunting of the defense does not endear him to certain defensive players.

But this is a non-story. Much more important is Newton’s progression from March shoulder surgery as we inch closer to the start of training camp in 32 days.

▪ Greg Olsen’s desire for a new contract is not a media creation. Olsen wants to be paid at a level commensurate with his production, and could make things uncomfortable with the threat of a training camp holdout. I don’t think it will come to that, but the situation bears watching.

▪ Received an email this week that Panthers’ special-teamers Colin Jones and Teddy Williams and edge rusher Mario Addison have re-upped as endorsers of TEN spring water. The partnership obviously won’t bring the exposure that Newton and Luke Kuechly get with their endorsements. But it’s cool to see some guys farther down the roster get a piece of the sponsorship pie, too.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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