There’s no denying that Newton didn’t live up to his full potential. The former MVP was outstanding in his first few seasons for the Panthers. He set a number of rookie records but couldn’t sustain his brilliance. Injuries wrecked his career and left him on the sidelines. It’s a shame because he had the potential to be one of the greatest rushing quarterbacks of all time.
He played for the Patriots in 2020 and fans saw how his body betrayed him. Meanwhile, he made some poor decisions off the field that caused the team management to lose faith in him. They cut him and replaced him with rookie Mac Jones (via Boston Globe). Newton could have been a truly special QB but he never sustained in his place in the top-tier. Nobody saw this coming after his stunning 2015 season.
We’re not saying that Luck wasn’t a great player because he was elite. However, he also retired at the age of 29 and was never able to show his full potential. Many quarterbacks blossom in their thirties because their brain catches up with their arm. Unfortunately, Luck suffered so many injuries that he was unable to take the step toward the Hall of Fame level of greatness. And that was a real tragedy.
He was still a four-time Pro Bowler and led the league in passing touchdowns in 2014. However, Luck absorbed a ludicrous number of hits during his seven seasons in the NFL. The Colts had a genuine franchise quarterback on their hands. But they threw him away because they didn’t protect him. The Ringer reported that he was hit or sacked 352 times across his career.