The Carolina Panthers are coming off of a 2018 campaign in which they won just seven games and missed the playoffs, but their lack of success this past season comes with a caveat.
Remember: the Panthers got off to a 6-2 start and looked like a legitimate contender in the NFC before Cam Newton began having shoulder issues, resulting in Carolina limping to a 1-7 finish and Newton being shut down for the final two games of the season.
Of course, Newton’s bum shoulder was not the Panthers’ only problem, but it was surely a big one, and now that Newton is healthy, wide receiver Torrey Smith thinks that Carolina can contend heading into 2019:
If Smith can rediscover some of his old magic, that would provide the Panthers with a big lift, too.
The 30-year-old played in just 11 games this past season, logging career lows in receptions (17) and receiving yards (190).
Smith has been in decline for several years now, but there was a time when he was one of the better wide outs in the league, as he hauled in 65 receptions for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns while with the Baltimore Ravens back in 2013.
Since then, however, Smith has reached no more than 767 yards, and over the last three years, he has failed to log 500 yards in any one season.