The NFL trade deadline came and passed with just one quarterback being moved. Shockingly, it was Joe Flacco on the move back to New York as the Jets wanted depth behind Zach Wilson. It turned out they wasted the fifth-round pick as Mike White emerged as a capable contributor.
There's now a lack of available quarterbacks if an injury occurs. The best and most capable fill-in on the market is Cam Newton. The former Panthers and Patriots quarterback is vaccinated and able to step in on short notice for a contender if called upon.
Newton appeared healthier as a passer in the 2021 preseason before being released. His shoulder has cost him some of his deep passing prowess, but he's accurate enough on short and intermediate attempts to control an offense. His rushing ability is always a major plus as well.
Today, we're looking at three landing spots for Newton, barring a surprise injury opening the door elsewhere. We'll break down why each is a fit and what the upside for both Newton and the team is.
3. Dallas Cowboys
All it took was an injury to Dak Prescott to see how vulnerable Dallas is without him. The Cowboys' offense was overly reliant on big plays because Cooper Rush could barely complete a pass. Newton would be a much better fit even if he's not in the same stratosphere as Prescott as a pocket playmaker.
We've never seen Newton play with a surrounding cast like what Dallas offers. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Ezekiel Elliott headline the playmakers, while the offensive line is consistently one of the finest in the league. Newton would be able to step in with a creative offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore and at least take advantage of scoring opportunities.
2. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have already ruled out signing Newton at this time but that doesn't mean they're not a good fit or shouldn't reconsider if Taysom Hill gets banged up again. Head coach Sean Payton is one of the best offensive designers in the NFL and has gotten the most out of a less-talented Hill. Newton offers the Saints a more talented version of the skill set Hill has.
The one snag with the Saints is their lack of talent around the quarterback position. Michael Thomas is out for the year, and it's hard to identify another starting-caliber receiver on the depth chart. Newton would need to operate as he did in New England's 2020 run-first offense, and Newton was not viewed favorably in those conditions.
1. Tennessee Titans
There's no question the Titans have had their share of injury woes thus far this season. The more surprising aspect, though, has been the decline of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While the lack of availability of some of his playmakers has played a part in his struggles, Tannehill has not been as sharp as he's been in recent seasons.
Newton wouldn't dethrone Tannehill barring an injury or especially bad spell with turnovers. However, with Derrick Henry out for the season, the Titans might want to add another playmaking element to their offense. The aging group of Newton, Adrian Peterson, and Julio Jones could still win the AFC South if they needed to, though. The division is weak, and the Titans could just overwhelm teams with an embarrassment of weapons.
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