David Newton: It's not so much whether Newton is capable. He didn't win the Heisman Trophy at Auburn or win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year at Carolina for a lack of talent. The question is this: Does Newton have the talent around him to become an MVP? Aaron Rodgers didn't win the award last season without having a solid offensive line, top receivers and a running game that takes the pressure off him. Newton needs the same.
The good news, the story points out, is Cam Newton seems to have a talent pool around him now. Wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, Corey Brown and Ted Ginn Jr., along with tight end Greg Olsen, give him plenty of capable targets. Jonathan Stewart showed again at the end of last season that, when healthy, he's a top five back. Now, the offensive line is going to be the key. Newton will also have to become a more consistent passer. While the odds may be against him for MVP, he's capable of a solid fantasy season. Newton cracks our top-10 QBs heading into camps, coming in eighth with an ADP of about the seventh round. He's another of the long list of fantasy QBs who will be around during that stage of your draft if you're set on waiting on the position.
Monday, February 23, 2015, 5:15pm
Ted Ginn, who signed a three-year free-agent contract in 2014, was released by the Cardinals Monday after a disappointing year both as return man and wide receiver. The Cards will absorb $1.5 million in dead salary cap money, although they will save $2.5M in cap space that would have been spent if Ginn stayed.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 1:34pm
WR John Brown's emergence can mean wonders for the Cardinals. A receiving corps that includes Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn Jr. gets even more dangerous with a shifty player like Brown on the field.
One has to wonder if Brown's shiftiness will help offset any kind of snap limitations RB Andre Ellington needs as he tries to heal an injured foot. Brown is certainly a name to watch on your wire. The Cardinal staff and players have been raving about him since spring.
Popular opinion? It won't be long.
He says he's ready to move on. Having the opportunity to work with Carolina wide receivers coach Ricky Proehl, one of the best technicians in the game during his 17 years as a player, should be a plus.
Proehl helped turn around Ted Ginn Jr's career last season. Ginn, now at Arizona, went from two catches with San Francisco in 2012 to 36 for 556 yards and five touchdowns at Carolina last season.
Ginn was the #58 WR in standard formats last season, so if Hill can fill and expand on that role, he could work his way into fantasy relevancy again. Sometimes a player just needs a change of scenery and a fresh start.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014, 8:25pm
Panthers coach Ron Rivera indicated Monday the team didn't plan to sign Hill immediately.
But the Panthers must think Hill, who struggled with dropped passes throughout his two years in New York, could give them a deep threat they've lacked since Ted Ginn Jr. signed with Arizona during the offseason.
Saturday, August 23, 2014, 6:05pm
Cardinals beat writer John Weinfuss: (John Brown) won’t be the Cardinals third receiver, that’ll be Ted Ginn. I think John Brown has earned the fourth receiver spot, however. And to use him, the Cardinals will have to go to a lot of four- or five-receiver sets. When he’s on the field, expect him to be used as a slot receiver going across the middle or out wide to take the top off the defense.
Cardinals WR John Brown is the real deal. He still hasn’t gone against a live defense for an entire game but from what we’ve seen out of Brown, he’s as fast with pads on than without them. The Cardinals are trying to temper their expectations of Brown, but it’s tough. He’s lived up to the hype.
Brown could work his way into the WR3 role if he can outplay Ted Ginn, which shouldn't be too hard.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 11:40am
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians has long preached that he can't teach speed. But he can sign it. The Cardinals saw that speed was a major deficiency in their offense in 2013, and they set out this offseason to change it. Add Ted Ginn and John Brown, and they now have two of the faster receivers in the league. That means more deep throws over the top and more opportunities to spread out the defense and allow Larry Fitzgerald to work inside. Ginn is poised for a breakout year as a receiver, and Brown, a rookie out of Division II Pittsburg State, has been turning heads all camp.
Ginn and Brown are fighting for the same role in Arians' offense, so we're not so sure Ginn is poised for a breakout season. The rookie has been great in camp.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 9:51am
Brown saw action in 16 games last season and recorded 140 yards in 11 receptions. Coming out of his rookie season, the receiver said his game improved considerably.
"It's a lot better," he said. "I feel like we're finally starting to get some kind of rhythm going with the quarterbacks. That's one thing we work on in training camp."
Not having to worry about replacing Floyd and Ginn long-term, Brown's performance Saturday made it that much harder for Arians to trim his receiving pool.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 11:13am
All the hype about Cardinals WR John Brown is looking legitimate so far. He’s been fast off the line and quick once he catches the ball. It’s obvious his time in San Diego with Carson Palmer paid off as the two have a burgeoning connection. While Brown looked just as fast in pads as he did out of them, it will be hard to tell if he’s a true standout until he goes across the middle when a safety or linebacker is actually trying to take his head off. If he can take an NFL hit and bounce back and still be fast, then he might be a star in the making.
Ted Ginn is in the mix as well, so it will be interesting to see how quickly and how much Brown can get on the field.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 12:00pm
As Calais Campbell walked past wide receiver John Brown and a surrounding interview contingent on Monday, the veteran defensive end vocalized an idea becoming more believable by the day. “Future star right there,” Campbell said.
Brown was an unknown before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round in May, but has thus far wowed the organization with his progress. The Pittsburg State product picked up significant buzz with his offseason production and played well on the first two days of training camp.
Monday was the first day of full pads, and coach Bruce Arians was interested to know how he would handle the change.“Can he play that fast? Can he get off the jam?” Arians said. “It’ll be more physical.”
Brown did his part to give answers, highlighting the practice with an 82-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton in 11-on-11 action. The defensive players refrained from laying big hits during the session, so it wasn’t quite the real thing, but it was yet another standout showing in a long string of them.
The Panthers are better at receiver than they were a year ago. Nothing against Steve L Smith, but at 35 he was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn Jr. and Domenik Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. Hixon wouldn't have been a loss at all were it not for the game-winning touchdown against New Orleans. The key here will be chemistry, but first-round pick Kelvin Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Free agent signees Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are solid possession receivers, and more dependable than the players they replaced. Who steps up as the fourth receiver will be the biggest question, whether it's free agent Tiquan Underwood or one of the young receivers. The Panthers plan to run a lot more two tight-end sets makes that less critical.
We project Cotchery and Benjamin to start but believe that Greg Olsen will once again lead the team in catches. Benjamin has upside, but Cotchery is a dirt cheap WR5/WR6 option available in the final rounds.
"He doesn't have that much experience as a wide out, surprisingly," HC Bruce Arians said. "I have no idea why."
Well, that's about to change. With the Cardinals, Ginn will be primarily used as their third receiver, filling the void left by Andre Roberts, who signed with Washington during free agency. Ginn will still be charged with returning kicks and some punts, but his main duties will be alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
"Anytime you can hit a home run in one play, it's easy," Arians said. "The threat of those guys being out there is that every play you can hit one. What they do to the defense to open up everybody else, you don't have to throw it long. You hit a fast guy going across the field, it's easier for him to turn it up and go to the distance."
Arians has been pleased with Ginn's route running and catching ability, which has led to more confidence for Ginn. He'll need it as he embarks on a season as primarily a receiver. He'll still have special teams' duties and QB Carson Palmer hopes Ginn will be able to give the offense shorter fields to work with.
Friday, June 13, 2014, 11:59am
After signing as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, WR Tiquan Underwood has a great opportunity to help the Panthers offense. And with Ted Ginn, Jr. gone, the speedy Underwood has stepped into Carolina's wide receiver competition as a viable deep threat.
Underwood did well with the limited number (46) of targets that he saw in 2013, posting the #10 FP/target in the league (1.48). He's a 4.31 speedster and a good athlete, but hasn't done much in his five seasons in the league. There should be plenty of opportunity in the Carolina offense due to the lack of playmakers in the receiving game. Underwood could be fantasy relevant in 2014 if he sees starter's snaps. At a minimum, Underwood has a good chance to be this year's Ted Ginn, who was the #53 WR in standard formats.
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