Cam Newton is now a free agent after the Panthers opted to go a different direction, so where could the quarterback viably land this offseason?
After an injury-riddled 2019 season, the Carolina Panthers decided to go a new direction when it comes to the face of their franchise, releasing quarterback Cam Newton and allowing him to sign with any team in free agency. While his market has been quiet so far, there are certainly a few teams that could benefit from bringing Newton aboard.
The first thing that has to be mentioned with the 2015 NFL MVP is the injuries. Not only did he recently get surgery on his foot that caused him to miss 14 games in the 2019 season but he had a procedure on his throwing shoulder as well. It’s going to be tough for Newton to find a suitor soon due to teams’ need to medically evaluate him with their own doctors while COVID-19 limits the ability to do just that.
With that said, there will definitely be teams checking in as the offseason continues to unfold. They may not be guaranteed starting gigs for the former Heisman Trophy winner, so there’s a solid possibility Newton is going to have to swallow his pride if he is to be on NFL roster this fall.
What Newton can bring to a team doesn’t only include a rocket-arm and elite athleticism at the quarterback position but also mainstream notoriety that only a handful of players posses in today’s game. He can help fill the stands with not only his talent but his on-field persona as well. So which teams should be in on the quarterback and all he brings to the table and are viable landing spots for him.
New England Patriots
After the greatest quarterback of all time decided to take his talents to Tampa Bay, a huge hole was opened up at the quarterback position for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Tom Brady‘s departure doesn’t only have the team lacking in talent but also in the leadership and notoriety aspects as well.
While I highly doubt Belichick cares about attracting fans to the stands (which winning does anyway) there’s no question that the accomplished head coach is looking for someone other than Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer to lead his offense. Despite Cam Newton’s polarizing on-field antics, he’s known around the league as not only a great talent, but a tremendous leader.
Brady and Newton, to state the obvious, couldn’t differ any more stylistically. But since Belichick is forced to go with a new quarterback for the first time in decades, who’s to say he isn’t open to a more modern approach at the position? It’ll allow for a different dynamic of creativity when it comes to play-calling thanks to Newton’s athleticism and strong arm.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers are another team looking for a new quarterback for the first time in a long time after Philip Rivers decided to sign with the Indianapolis Colts. While the team has been pretty adamant about Tyrod Taylor being the incumbent starter, there’s little doubt that the Chargers would probably benefit the most from adding Newton.
Since the team decided to move to Los Angeles in 2017 after 55 years in San Diego, they have a hard time filling the stands, to say the least. With so much going on in the mecca of Los Angeles, it’s hard for an NFL team to get the attention of the people living there on a consistent basis. Add in the fact that the team is moving to a new stadium and it only emphasizes the need more to get people in those seats.
Bringing in Newton would solve some of those issues. Having the 6-5, 245-pound athletic phenom slinging the ball all over the field to playmakers such as Mike Williams and Keenan Allen would be fun for anyone to watch. It also seems as if Taylor himself wouldn’t mind bringing Newton aboard since they’ve been working out together.
With how the Buffalo Bills have been winning games recently, some wonder what the team would be capable of accomplishing with a better player at the quarterback position. While Josh Allen has helped the team win (with mostly his legs), Cam Newton could come in and help elevate the team to a new level.
When Buffalo drafted Allen, they were hoping he’d develop into the “next” Newton due to their physical and athletic similarities. Since that hasn’t necessarily happened, the team could elect to bring in Newton with a role similar to what Ryan Tannehill originally had when the Tennessee Titans decided to bring him in behind Marcus Mariota last offseason.
Both head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are very familiar with what Newton is capable of as they were both with the Panthers during their Super Bowl run and Newton’s MVP season in 2015.
McDermott and Beane have built a team in Buffalo similar to that of the 2015 Panthers, which consists of tenacious defense and solid run game. Could they elect to run it back with Newton if Allen stumbles this season? Crazier things have happened.