Cam Newton is hoping he still won’t be left standing when league quarterbacks play a wild game of musical chairs during the 2021 NFL offseason. Newton’s starting stint with the Patriots is likely over after one season and he will enter free agency for a second consecutive year.
Newton, first-choice in the 2011 draft and league MVP in 2015, is at another career crossroads at 31 after being released by the Panthers in 2020. He can’t waste more time thinking about this kid who talks about trash because he has to be super focused to try to land with a third team.
The question is, after disappointing as a New England starter, can Newton find another such job elsewhere or settle for a high-end backup role to stay in the league? By The Boston Globe via NFL.com, Newton made some candid remarks to this end about former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall “I am an athlete” Podcast
“I can’t go out like this. I hear all this talk. My pride won’t allow me to do it. There aren’t 32 guys better than me,” Newton said on the show, noting that his New England’s late signing in June and various challenges related to COVID-19 kept it from performing at the desired high level.
Here’s where Newton would be best suited to extend his career, using an elimination process.
Teams that won’t sign Cam Newton
AFC: Patriots, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Chiefs, Chargers
NFC: Cowboys, Eagles, Lions, Packers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers
If you keep the score, that would be 22 of 32 NFL teams right away. The Patriots and Panthers were the open spaces. Newton doesn’t feel like a replacement for teams that clearly have new starters – whether they’re promising rookies or sophomores in the draft or recent business acquisitions. There are also a lot of systems here in which Newton wouldn’t perform well. There is also a postponement, with teams not interested in him last year still having no reason to be interested this year.
This group also includes rebuilding or salary cap teams that have to concentrate their resources elsewhere, even if it would be rather cheap to sign Newton. Overall, for Newton, none of these teams are suitable for him to start or be the right No.2.
Teams that shouldn’t be thinking about signing Cam Newton
Steelers: Pittsburgh may be parting ways with Ben Roethlisberger one way or another. But internally, the trade market, free will and the project, Steelers May Explore Several Better Replacement Options. They could have hid Newton behind Roethlisberger last year if the latter returned from a right elbow injury and failed to do so. Between Newton and Jameis Winston, if the Steelers are more desperate for a veteran starting, the latter has more appeal in their attack.
Raiders: Will Las Vegas Treat Derek Carr? This question becomes tedious as Carr continues to play well and defense, not offense, is the real problem for Jon Gruden’s side. Newton is a different style of QB from Carr in terms of personality, mindset, and skill. The Raiders had better sign Marcus Mariota again, who has proven he has healthy supersub potential.
Teams that should be thinking about signing Cam Newton as a backup
Invoices: The Bills are looking for a new No.2 behind Josh Allen, who exhibits many dynamic double-threat attributes of a young Newton. Matt Barkley is a free agent and Newton would make sense to back Allen if needed. Buffalo is Northeast Carolina anyway, with Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane.
Titans: Quick, guess the unnamed Tennessee quarterbacks Ryan Tannehill. If you said Logan Woodside and DeShone Kizer, you know the Titans could use an upgrade there. Here Newton can return to the Southeast and be part of a winning team with solid running play and downline passing play.
Cardinals: Yes, Chris Streveler played a big role in Week 17 for Arizona when the playoffs were on the line. The Cardinals also have Brett Hundley and Cole McDonald behind Kyler Murray. They should at least consider an upgrade to Newton given that his athleticism is designed to play a heavy attack.
Vikings: Now we’re in wilderness territory, but it’s also a heavy attack that can bring Newton back to a comfort zone. It will take another new man behind Kirk Cousins on the Minnesota Vikings with Sean Mannion unsigned for 2021, Jake Browning and Nate Stanley completing the current depth chart.
Giants: Newton’s reunion with Dave Gettleman? That makes good sense with Colt McCoy headed for free agency behind Daniel Jones. Jason Garrett is expected to return to focusing his first attack on an elite element with Saquon Barkley in good health, which will help Jones and those behind him stabilize him. Giants are also required to improve their receiving talent.
Teams that should be thinking about signing Cam Newton as a starter
Bear: The Bears can no longer ride with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky is a free agent. They missed Carson Wentz and won’t get Deshaun Watson. Their bad cap situation doesn’t give them much money to get more than a veteran bridge if they avoid writing another first-round QB. Chicago officials can’t be arrogant to think Newton can’t respond, and the offensive coaching combination of Matt Nagy and John DeFilippo can help him get back on track.
Broncos: The Broncos seem less attached to a third season starting with second round Drew Lock day by day. They should be interested in writing a QB in the first round, but if they return to a veterans bridge or an emergency route, Newton is worth considering. New GM George Paton comes from the Vikings, where he helped them make many practical additions, which Newton would be a low risk, medium pay option.
Washington Football Team: Last but not least alphabetically, it had to be WFT to put Newton on QB’s radar. Ron Rivera and Scott Turner are the Panthers’ obvious connections, and heck, the team already has Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. It’s about whether Newton, at a much cheaper price, can be a veteran upgrade with more perks than Alex Smith. Smith carries a cap of $ 24.4 million in 2021, and Washington can recoup $ 13.6 million of that by releasing it. Finding Rivera would undoubtedly be Newton’s best chance at regaining above-average success in the NFL.