Cam Newton is a free agent for the first time in his career. Where are the most likely landing spots for the former number one overall pick?
This offseason has seen teams move on from their long-term quarterbacks and one of those is Cam Newton, who after nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, is free to sign elsewhere. This came after Newton has battled injuries the past few years and barely took the field in 2019. Simply put – It was time for the Panthers to move on and look to rebuild rather than get whatever they could out of Newton.
With Newton now out of Carolina, where else could he potentially sign?
The most discussed answer is the New England Patriots and that still seems like it could be a good match for both sides. The Patriots are apparently planning to roll with Jarrett Stidham in 2020 and they did not draft a quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. That could pave the way for Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft to look into bringing in Newton.
Another spot where Newton could end up is in Jacksonville, as the Jaguars moved on from Nick Foles (trading him to Chicago) and Gardner Minshew – the sixth round man from Washington State – is set to be the starter. This isn’t a knock on Minshew, as he’s a fan favorite in Jacksonville, but he could use a sturdy backup and Newton could provide that.
Speaking of backup, yes, that is probably the role Newton is going to have to accept when he signs with his next team. Even though he could still be a starter, most teams have their QB1 at this point and will look to bring Newton in as guidance to whoever they do have their starter, especially if he’s on the younger side.
Newton turns 31 years old in May and with the way he plays (running the ball frequently and taking hit after hit), he’s probably not durable enough to last an entire season, so a backup role is best for him.
There has also been buzz recently that Pittsburgh could be a potential landing spot for Newton. Mike Florio and Chris Sims of Pro Football Talk discussed this and with Ben Roethlisberger nearing the end of his long career, it could make sense, though the Steelers do have Mason Rudolph on the roster still too, but perhaps they’ve seen enough of him to know it’s not going to last long-term.
One last spot that hasn’t been talked about much, but could make sense, is Washington. Ron Rivera — Newton’s long-time head coach in Carolina — just accepted the Redskins head coaching job and it just so happens the Redskins could use someone to mentor Dwayne Haskins. This could make a lot of sense as well.
With COVID-19, it’s been difficult for teams to get the medical evaluation on Newton that they’d like and that’s part of the hold-up here. Once Newton can prove to teams that he’s healthy and ready to take the field, the interest should drum up quite a bit.