Is Cam Newton a Character Concern?


If you are a fan of football or your TV remote just happens to die on ESPN you know what has been going on with Auburn’s quarterback Cam Newton.  Each and everyday more and more information comes out about alleged pay for play scandal and it appears that we are getting closer and closer to the truth.  I feel very confident that we will know most of the details by the time Newton has to decide to enter the NFL Draft.  Let’s for argument sake say that Newton did solicit money from Mississippi State and ultimately take money from Auburn.  So, does that impact his draft stock and draw character concerns?

To completely answer this question we would need to get into a much bigger debate, should college football players get paid?  This debate is going to rage on until something is changed, but don’t hold your breath.  I don’t want to call anyone in the Newton camp a liar but I am not buying the line that Cam had no knowledge of any request for money.  Cam needs to be very careful on how this situation is handled and not just for the sake of his current season but for his draft stock.  We have seen the impact lying has had on prospects such as Dez Bryant and now Robert Quinn.  The NCAA has a good track record at sniffing out the violation once it is brought to light so Cam would be wise to either come clean or at the very least limit his comments to the media.

Enough playing around I am going to just come out and answer the question, Is Cam Newton a character concern?  Yes, I feel that if this investigation reveals that Newton was involved in a pay for play deal than he is a character concern.  Ignore the debate about whether a player should be paid or not because Newton would have knowingly violated a major NCAA rule.  To me I take issue with the fact that he would have knowingly violated a rule, everyone knows that you can not receive money to play college football.  Take a look at some of the information coming out, its a lot of backroom deals and devious behavior.  I am a firm believer that if your willing to ignore one rule that you are very susceptible to ignore any rule.

With all of that being said if I am an NFL decision maker I have a flag next to Cam Newton based solely on his questionable decision making.  I then would sit down and evaluate him based on his talent (scouting report coming soon!) and decided where I would select him based on that talent and upside.  I would certainly evaluate the current condition of my team and coaching staff because Newton is anything but a finished product and needs to be surrounded by a consistent and strong coaching staff.  I would also take the pulse of the leadership in the locker room focusing mainly on the current quarterbacks on my roster.  Do I have a guy that will take Newton under his wing and help mentor this supremely talented player? Or do I have a quarterback that will do anything to keep his starting position, including sabotaging a young player?  After all of that I would bring in this current controversy and factor it in to the equation.  Mix this all together and I would feel very uneasy using a 1st round pick on Cam Newton.  On the other hand using a second round pick would definitely be something I highly consider because he comes with significantly less financial obligations.  But as we all know NFL decision makers fall in love with talent and Newton has boatloads of talent.