Panthers quarterback Cam Newton ran for 585 yards last season, a very respectful total but his lowest in three NFL seasons. He also underwent ankle surgery last month that is expected to keep him out of action until training camp. But once Newton is ready, the Panthers plan to use him like normal; you shouldn't expect Newton to fall further than 585.
"We don't want to take away a weapon," head coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday to the speculation that Newton will run less this season.
It's just one sentence about Newton in an article really about the Panthers' priorities in next week's draft. Two big priorities: Help on the offensive line to protect Newton, and help at wide receiver to catch his passes. Assuming Newton recovers well from his surgery, I will have no concerns about him. But everyone should be concerned about the Panthers' receiving corps, currently headed by Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood . That weakness, and a patchy offensive line, will have more of an effect on Newton than ankle surgery. His fantasy value hinges heavily on how the Panthers address their group of wide receivers in the draft.