Why the former MVP has yet to find a new home, and where he might end up
With the signings of Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston in recent weeks, there is now one big-name quarterback left on the free-agent market: Cam Newton.
It appears that no player has been more affected by the ongoing pandemic than Newton. The former MVP is coming off of a disappointing season that saw him play in just two games before a foot injury knocked him out for the year. While he looks healthy in the workout videos he has posted, not being able to meet with team doctors and workout for teams is certainly hindering his ability to find a team.
The NFL also doesn’t have many quarterback openings at the moment as most of the teams that needed a quarterback coming into the offseason either signed one in free agency or drafted one. However, there are still a couple of teams that could make sense.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could be an interesting fit for Newton. The Jags traded away Nick Foles this offseason and appear to be content with going into the season with Gardner Minshew as their starting quarterback. However, a healthy Newton would be an instant upgrade in Jacksonville and could bring a much-needed jolt to a team that has been on the decline since their AFC Championship game appearance in 2017.
Another popular team that has been thrown around in the Newton sweepstakes is the New England Patriots. On the outside it makes sense, they just lost Tom Brady and bringing in a former MVP to replace him would be a near-perfect transition. However, Bill Belichick seems content with rolling with the young quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Part of the reason could be that Belichick believes in Stidham, the other part is that the Patriots are severely cap-strapped. They have under two million dollars in cap space without counting for their rookie signings. Fitting Newton in under the cap would take a ton of maneuvering.
One sleeper team for Newton that I will throw out there is the Las Vegas Raiders. Mike Mayock and John Gruden haven’t exactly given quarterback Derek Carr the vote of confidence and they did bring in Marcus Mariota to back him up. Gruden also loves big names, and with the Raiders moving into a new city and stadium, bringing in Newton would bring even more buzz to the Raiders. He would also be an improvement over both Carr and Mariota and has the talent you need at the quarterback position when you will face Patrick Mahomes twice a year.
For now, it seems like Newton is fine with waiting it out as he is looking for a team offering a starting role, which he should be because he is that good when healthy. Lots of people have forgotten that it was just in 2018 when Newton was having an even better season than his MVP year before TJ Watt blew out his shoulder. Time will tell where Newton will land, but wherever he goes, that team might be getting the biggest bargain of the offseason.