Newton didn't win friends at Pro Bowl

Check out this column by Pete Prisco. It might shed some light on why Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has struggled in his second season, after putting together a record-setting rookie season.

Prisco writes that Newton came across as arrogant and distant to other players at last season’s Pro Bowl. He reportedly refused to sign an autograph and pose for a picture with the family of another player. Prisco also reports that Newton dissed veteran Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis.

Putting two and two together (and getting some players to confirm it), Prisco also writes that the AFC defense went hard after Newton in a game that usually is very mild.

Some people have said Newton is shy, but that wasn’t the impression he gave at the Pro Bowl.

"Look, it was his first Pro Bowl, so he should have come and acted humble," one AFC player told Prisco. "But he didn't. He acted like he was better than us."

What does last season’s Pro Bowl have to do with what’s happening with Newton and the Panthers this season?

Perhaps a lot. If Newton’s teammates perceive him the same way the players at the Pro Bowl did, he might not be a popular figure in the locker room. If your quarterback isn’t popular in the locker room, that’s never a good thing.

That (as well as a bad defense) might be a major reason why the Panthers are 3-9.