Cam Newton still doesn’t have a job.
That might not be that hard to believe with the way the world is going right now. But it’s still rather odd that the 2015 NFL MVP hasn’t even signed on to be a backup quarterback yet.
There’s plenty working against Newton. Most notably, his health. After multiple injury-plagued seasons, it’s no surprise that a team would want to make sure Newton’s completely healthy before signing him to a lucrative contract. Although the former Auburn star has reportedly passed a physical and is ready to sign with a team, the coronavirus pandemic still complicates things.
That shouldn’t stop a quarterback-needy squad from signing one of the most talented players this decade. But which of the QB-thirsty teams could use Newton the most?
To be honest, all 32 NFL franchises would be better off by signing Newton, but we’ve decided to narrow it down to his five best landing spots in the league. So that eliminates most of the league, and some other spicy destinations — such as the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are the five teams that should sign Newton immediately.
It’s understandable that the Broncos would want to let Lock prove that he’s a viable starting quarterback for Denver’s future, but the franchise would be making a massive mistake to not sign Newton.
The Broncos have had a strong offseason, and the team looks primed to make a playoff run… if Lock makes the leap in his sophomore season. But it’s a disservice to the entire team — and its fan base — to not make sure to have a backup plan in case Lock fails to get better in 2020. And Driskel does not count as a legitimate backup plan.
Newton would also provide a veteran presence and someone who could push Lock in training camp and during the season. Iron sharpens iron, so bringing in a former MVP would force Lock to either improve or learn from the bench.
To put it lightly, John Elway has struggled to find a signal-caller since Peyton Manning’s body gave out on him. And now his potential answer is just sitting and waiting on the free-agent market.
New England Patriots
Jarrett Stidham could be the next Jimmy Garoppolo, sure, but he’s no Cam Newton. The Patriots are in a similar position to the Broncos, but the Pats might be the poor-man’s Broncos, which is an incredibly weird sentence to write.
Let’s look at the evidence. Both teams have a highly talented defense run by a defensive mastermind. But the difference, at least on paper, is that Denver has A LOT more talent on the offensive side of the ball. That’s why the Patriots need Newton more than the Broncos.
Relying on Stidham won’t help elevate the talent around him. Do you know who has always made players around him better? Cam freakin’ Newton. Adding Newton to a team that’s top receiving threats are 34-year-old Julian Edelman and rookie afterthought N’Keal Harry seems like a no-brainer unless the Patriots really are Tanking for Trevor Lawrence.
Newton deserves to join a team with a creative play-caller like Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
UPDATE: The Patriots listened to us and signed Newton to a one-year deal.
This would be an incredible landing spot for Newton if he’s OK with being a backup for the season. The Steelers are currently relying on a 38-year-old quarterback who is coming off season-ending elbow surgery and hates working out more than the Tiger King hates Carole Baskin. That’s a recipe for a disaster — especially when the football-watching public saw the Steelers’ backup quarterback situation.
Mason Rudolph and Devlin “Duck” Hodges don’t deserve to be on an NFL roster, let alone the starting quarterback for a professional football team. Newton would immediately slide in as Big Ben’s top reserve, and he might even motivate Roethlisberger. Kind of like how Aaron Rodgers will have an even bigger chip on his shoulder with the Packers drafting Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Newton would also get a season to prove to the Steelers' front office that he should be the team’s quarterback of the future when Big Ben decides to hang up his XXL jersey.
The franchise that traded three picks to move up one spot to take Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson probably shouldn’t be trusted for their quarterback evaluations. That’s why it was a head-scratcher that the Bears, through their own volition, decided to give up a fourth-round pick for the oft-injured Nick Foles when they could’ve had Newton without surrendering valuable draft capital.
Chicago’s quarterback battle between Foles and Trubisky will surely inspire confidence for Bears fans all over the world. How could they not be excited about the most milquetoast QB battle since Brian Hoyer versus C.J. Beathard?
Meanwhile, Newton would have been incredibly fun to watch on a team with a so-called creative play-caller in coach Matt Nagy.
It would also give Allen Robinson a light at the end of the tunnel. The poor guy has had to endure Blake Bortles and Trubisky throwing him inaccurate passes throughout his entire career.
This might be Newton’s most realistic landing spot. The Redskins have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, but Newton could serve as a valuable insurance policy for Dwayne Haskins.
Here’s a shocker: the former Ohio State quarterback, who took selfies during his first career win, might not be the Redskins’ savior. And you know who coached Cam Newton his entire career? Well, that’s none other than current Washington coach Ron Rivera.
If Newton continues to chill out on the free-agent market, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his old coach snag him. Newton could be a valuable resource for Haskins, and potentially his replacement.
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