Cam Newton has undoubtedly had a terrific rookie season. He’s set records and silenced disbelievers that refuse to embrace the mobile future of the quarterback. The Panthers surprisingly successful season appears to have established them as a promising, young team. But Newton’s ascent to rookie glory has raised the bar for his performance, and careless mistakes are setting back the Panthers in close games with very good teams. Sure, he’s a rookie. He gets some leeway to learn how to play in the toughest and most competitive league in sports. But in the same sense, in the NFL, there is no adjustment period. You don’t start and get the benefit of years to improve. Just last week, the Panthers blew a 17-point lead to the Lions. Newton played a fantastic game, and can in no way be blamed for the loss, but at some point he needs to win these games. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and has turned out to be much more, and Newton needs to grab wins while he can. Young teams can digress, just ask the Bucs. After a 9-7 year, the pathetic showing that’s been this season is raising questions about Josh Freeman. All I’m saying is that the Panthers made a decision not to coddle there quarterback for the future, and part of that decision was that they believed Newton could win in the immediate future for Carolina. Right now, he isn’t.