We’re well into May and former MVP Cam Newton still doesn’t have an NFL team.
I’m not pretending like I don’t understand why Cam isn’t signed yet. It’s not as though it super easy to have team doctors give Newton a full medical when we’re in the midst of a pandemic. Plus, Newton is 31-years-old and has taken plenty of huge hits throughout his career, and has expressly said he want to start somewhere, rather than play backup. I also get that.
Still, I find it rather surprising that Cam doesn’t have a team yet. Which teams could use Cam Newton, you ask. Well, I can think of five teams who could not only use Newton, but could also provide him plenty of fantasy value for 2020.
Los Angeles Chargers
Reports have come out that the Chargers looked into Cam, but ultimately are staying put with the quarterback situation they have. A kid can still dream can’t he? Plus, I think this would not only make a ton of sense but also help Justin Herbert’s development. What if the Chargers signed Cam and gave Herbert a year to sit on the bench and get used to the NFL life style. Who says no? After all, sitting a year or so behind a starting caliber NFL quarterback has proven to be pretty effective (see: Mahomes, Patrick). With rookies already on shortened offseasons, and this one being particularly weird with Covid-19, it makes sense to give Herbert plenty of time to be ready before throwing him into the fire.
Meanwhile for Cam, he would get to play with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekeler and his mobility and athleticism could help mask a underwhelming Chargers offensive line. Cam in LA would certainly get me all kinds of excited for his fantasy value. Again, I know this very likely won’t happen.
If you’re not pleased with my Chargers entry, let me float out the Steelers as a peace offering. Yes, Ben Roethlisberger has shaved his beard and means business, but let’s not over look the fact that this is a 37-year-old man who played only two games last year and has a long track record of missing more than a few games each season. The Steelers would do well to get themselves a backup quarterback who could actually help win games rather than tread water in the case of Duck Hodges, or actively sink the ship in the case of Mason Rudolph.
While Cam wouldn’t be coming in to battle for a starting job, it’s likely the best backup gig with the chance of playing meaningful games in 2020. Really I want this to happen so that when Roethlisberger does inevitably miss his five games this year, all my JuJu Smith-Schuster shares don’t go by the wayside.
New England Patriots
The Patriots have come out enough times dismissing any Cam Newton interest to make me think they are really planning on riding with Jarrett Stidham for better or for worse. However, as a Patriots fan, I really want to see Cam in New England and what this offense could be with him under center. The Patriots have a Super Bowl caliber defense still so “throwing the season away” more or less doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me. But then, I’m not Bill Belichick and I haven’t successfully coached six Super Bowl championships.
The Patriots offense isn’t the sexiest one in the NFL, but it deserves more credit than it often gets. Their line is above average and Sony Michel and James White offer a solid backfield. Obviously last year, pass catcher was a big issue but coming into 2020, the Patriots will have Julian Edelman, a healthy Mohamed Sanu, and a year-older N’Keal Harry playing with a quarterback who’ll actually throw him the ball (sorry not sorry Tom). Add in the two rookie tight ends the Patriots drafted, and that’s not a terrible receiver group.
Unsurprisingly, the Bears completely fricked up their quarterback situation. Right off the bat, they should have moved on from Mitchell Trubisky a while ago. But they didn’t. Instead, they traded a forth round pick to the Jaguars for Nick Foles. I’m not saying Foles is a bad quarterback, but I’m fairly certain if the Bears had just waited a week, the Jags were going to release Foles and they could’ve gotten him without giving up a pick. Or they could’ve signed Andy Dalton or, the man they should sign, Cam Newton. Newton instantly would make the Bears a viable threat in the NFC with the Bears’ defense still being at the height of it’s powers.
I need this to happen so that my Allen Robinson hypetrain won’t blowup in the station before it’s even able to take it’s maiden voyage. The Bears offense has some weapons that would certainly benefit from having a quarterback under center who’s actually able to make the right read and throw the ball on target every once and a while.
Speaking of Nick Foles, let’s talk about the man who kicked him out of Jacksonville, Gardner Minshew. Now I LOVE me some Gardner Minshew and his mustache is something the NFL needs plenty more of. But there’s a reason he was a sixth round pick last year. He flashed moments of brilliance last year, but he might not have all the physical tools to be an above average starter in the NFL.
I can understand why the Jaguars might not be chomping at the bit to sign Cam Newton. It’s not as though the Jaguars roster is what it used to be and their defense is a far cry from the squad that was more than Super Bowl ready. If Jacksonville still boasted that defense, I’d sign Cam Newton and go for a Super Bowl run. However, that roster is far from playoff ready so I get wanting to see the young kid play.
I do NOT share this sentiment with the Broncos. Yes Broncos fans, before you remind me that Drew Lock looked great in four starts to end the season, I know about your supposed quarterback of the future. I’m glad that he finished the year strong and that there seems to be promise and optimism surrounding him. But this Broncos roster is way too good to be wasted on a “let’s see if Lock is good” season. It’s like how I feel about the Patriots, only more so.
Imagine Cam Newton in an offense surrounded by Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, Phillip Lindsay, and Melvin Gordon. That’s an offense that could put points on the board, and Denver’s defense isn’t likely to be a slouch with returners like Von Miller and Bradley Chubb plus new comers in Jurrell Casey and A.J. Bouye. That’s a team that could make some serious noise, even in the AFC West.
Maybe John Elway really thinks that Drew Lock gives them the best chance to win games, and hey, you do you. But this is also the man that wanted to pay Brock Osweiler top dollar after watching him for four years (and then brought him BACK in 2017), made Paxton Lynch a first round pick (ahead Jacoby Brissett and some guy named Dak Prescott), and traded a forth round pick for clearly washed up Joe Flacco. Excuse me if I’m not overly confident in Elway’s QB assessments.
Give me Cam Newton in Denver or give me death.