The writing has been on the wall for a while now, but it's still surprising to see the former NFL MVP on the open market once again.
Newton clearly isn't at the peak of his powers anymore, but he could be a high-end backup quarterback if he's open to not being the starter under center. While his passing skills have diminished, Newton can be a spot starter who still uses his legs to attack defenses. Plus, he could be featured as a short-yardage QB and red zone weapon, similar to how the Saints use Taysom Hill or the 49ers plan on using Trey Lance early in the season.
With plenty of teams in desperate need of a competent backup quarterback, there should be a market for Newton. But who should sign him? We've highlighted five teams that could use his services in 2021.
The Cowboys are reportedly interested in signing Newton to be their backup quarterback, and it's hard to blame America's Team.
The 'Boys saw what life was like without Dak Prescott under center and it wasn't pretty. If Prescott, who has been recovering from a shoulder injury in training camp, is forced to miss time this season, Dallas can't afford to trust their high-octane offense to Cooper Rush.
Newton won't be able to spread the ball around like Prescott, but he would be able to keep the offense afloat rather than sinking it with a guy like Rush.
The Cowboys would be crazy not to consider Cam.
Washington Football Team
The Cowboys' NFC East rivals could easily throw a wrench into the Cowboys' backup QB plans if they so desire.
While Washington's backup QB situation isn't as disastrous as the Cowboys', the Football Team has a lot of familiarity with Newton. Ron Rivera coached Newton with the Carolina Panthers and the two share an affinity for each other.
One pretty big bump in the road, though, could be Newton's vaccination status. Rivera, who is immunocompromised after battling cancer last season, is one of the most outspoken coaches when it comes to getting the covid-19 vaccine.
It'd be hard to imagine Washington signing Newton unless his thoughts on getting the vaccine changed.
The Falcons are another franchise that has major problems at backup QB.
If for some reason Matt Ryan gets hurt, the Falcons could have the worst QB situation in the entire NFL. The Falcons will surely rummage through the waiver wire for a suitable replacement, but that will be slim pickings.
Newton would be a fan favorite in Atlanta and someone who could put butts in the seats even if the Falcons have another rough campaign.
The Jaguars are Trevor Lawrence's team now that they finally shipped the mustachioed one, Gardner Minshew, to the Philadelphia Eagles, but that means their backup quarterback situation could use some work.
Currently, Jacksonville would have C.J. Beathard as the signal-caller if anything happened to their No. 1 pick. As San Francisco 49ers fans can attest to, that would be bad news for the watchability of the Jaguars.
The Jags clearly care about getting as many fans into their stadium as possible and Newton would be a much bigger attraction than Beathard.
In what appears to be a down year in the AFC South, the Jaguars could possibly make a run for the division. If they were to lose Lawrence then Newton might be able to keep them in the hunt.
Andy Dalton ain't it.
The Bears players and fans know it. Shoot, the Bears coaching staff probably does, too.
Chicago just needs to bite the bullet and admit that signing Andy Dalton to a $10 million contract was probably slightly shortsighted. Once they do that, they can fully embrace Justin Fields once he's deemed ready.
But, as we've seen, Fields tends to take some big hits due to his big-play style of quarterbacking. He might hold onto the ball a little longer, but he's always trying to hit the big chunk play. That could make Fields more susceptible to injury, so it's important for the Monsters of the Midway to have a solid backup quarterback.
Newton can do some of what Fields can on the field and the Bears won't have to change their offense too much like they do with Dalton under center.
Perhaps Fields can learn a thing or two from the former MVP, too.
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