4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Panthers may not want to trade Newton within the NFC South, and then face him twice a year going forward. But that assumes they think he has something left and/or can stay healthy, which may be a big assumption.
If they think he won’t stay on the field or is absolutely cooked, somewhat akin to the Philadelphia Eagles trading Donovan McNabb to the division-rival Washington Redskins several years ago, the Buccaneers are a team who should be looking for a new quarterback and they should be fully exploring all kinds of options to replace James Winston.
Newton throwing to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, one of the top wide receiver duos in the league, is an intriguing prospect and his history with Greg Olsen in Carolina may help unlock O.J. Howard’s potential once and for all.
Tampa Bay has a lot of cap space to play with ($79.8 million, fourth-most in the league right now according to Over The Cap), so they could aggressively sign a free agent running back to bolster a lagging rushing attack, add a capable veteran backup quarterback to protect themselves in case Newton can’t stay on the field and make a strong effort to bolster a defense that was greatly improved in 2019.
Simply put, the Buccaneers can instantly become a very similar situation to what was in place during Newton’s best years with the Panthers.