The case for the Denver Broncos to sign Cam Newton

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos have a quarterback of the future in Drew Lock, but there is a case for them to sign Cam Newton to be the quarterback of the present.

The writing was on the wall months ago, but the Carolina Panthers finally moved on by releasing Cam Newton this week. Doing so in the second week of free agency did him no favors, and the list of options that remain for him is not long.

The Denver Broncos seem to have finally found a young quarterback. Drew Lock went 4-1 as the starter as a rookie last year, as he completed over 64 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. But five of those touchdowns came in his first two games, and his yards per attempt dropped below 6.5 in the final three games and four of his five starts. That drop-off can be chalked up to defenses simply having some tape on him and isn’t a cause for concern this early in his career.

The Broncos have added some notable pieces this offseason, trading for defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and signing running back Melvin Gordon. They were even rumored to be interested in Amari Cooper, before he inevitably re-signed with the Cowboys.

There are new odds out for Newton’s potential landing spot. The somewhat rumored usual suspects are there–the Chargers, the Patriots, the Dolphins and the Jaguars. And then there’s the Broncos at +300, below only the Redskins.

The Broncos aren’t thought to be in the market for a quarterback. Jeff Driskel has been signed to clearly back up Lock and Joe Flacco was released with a failed physical designation. But a significant move is surely not on the radar.


The move Steven Ruiz of For The Win is sarcastically referring to is the Broncos’ signing of Peyton Manning in 2012. He was coming off a major neck injury that cost him the entire previous season, and if general manager John Elway was going to replace Tim Tebow signing Manning was about the only move he could make. Two Super Bowl appearances and one win later, the move was clearly a success.

Newton fits the physical profile of a quarterback that Elway favors, for better or worse, which was also (not coincidentally) his own. Former Panthers’ quarterbacks coach (2011-12) and offensive coordinator (2013-17) Mike Shula is now Denver’s quarterbacks coach, so there’s a significant tie there.

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Any team that signs Newton can get him cheaply, with little or no risk pending when he can take a physical. The buzz around the Broncos seems to be growing, and they don’t have to give up on Lock as the guy for the future to take a calculated flier on the 2015 league MVP.