The NFL Network has revealed their list of the top 100 NFL players for 2016 and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was at the top of the list.
The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player was the leading vote getter in a list that is voted on by fellow players. It is definitely high praise when your opponents from around the league show you that kind of respect.
Rounding out the top 5 in the list were Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady at No. 2, Texans lineman J.J. Watt at 3, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown at 4 and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson at No. 5.
Amazingly, Newton was no higher than No. 73 in the 2015 list of the NFL’s Top Players. Quite a leap all the way to number one in 2016.
All you have to do is look at his performance last season to understand the reason for his rise this year. Not only did he win the MVP award but Newton was also named to his 3rd Pro Bowl, was voted 1st Team All-Pro and named the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Statistically, Newton threw for 35 touchdowns for 3,837 yards with a completion percentage of close to 60%. He also ran for another 10 touchdowns in 2016.
At 6’6” at almost 260 pounds, Newton is an imposing physical specimen, specifically for a quarterback. Opposing players who voted for Newton this year said that if he was ever able to “figure it out” he would be scary good.
Well it appears that he has “figured it out” in 2016.
Always a big personality, Newton has proven himself as the leader of this Carolina team. He led them all the way to the Super Bowl earlier this year before losing in that game to the Denver Broncos.
There is little question that he is well liked and respected by his teammates and can be seen joking around with them and having fun on the sidelines. Not to mention the “dab” moves he seems to have perfected.
Although he doesn’t always rub opponents the same way with his antics, they obviously respect him enough to have voted him as the top NFL player in the NFL Network poll.
Still only 27 years old and just entering his sixth season, Newton has to be considered an early favorite to win another MVP award. In addition, the Panthers, after a 15-1 regular season and that Super Bowl loss, are definitely on the short list of favorites for a Super Bowl title in 2017.
So whether you like Cam Newton or not, you can’t deny that he is one of the best players in the NFL, And according to the players, the best of 2016.