Cam Newton has dealt with injuries over the past couple of years in particular, but he’s a former league MVP quarterback that’ll turn just 31 years old soon, so he’s an intriguing option as an unrestricted free agent. The issue for Newton is that most teams are set with their starting quarterback, and it might be difficult to bring in a big personality like Newton to be the backup. I think the Dolphins are just going to draft a signal-caller in the top-five, and I do not think he is a fit with the Patriots, but these are the top landing spots for the former Panthers star.
Los Angeles Chargers
There are probably only two or three teams where Newton might have a good chance of starting if he’s signed by them, and the Chargers lead the way. Tyrod Taylor is an underrated option that the team might feel more comfortable with (while almost certainly pairing him with a rookie) this season, but they might want to take a flier on Newton and make it a wide-open quarterback competition. At the very least, Newton would sell tickets in Los Angeles’ new stadium, which would be a plus for a Chargers franchise seen as the clear second NFL show in town to the Rams.
The Redskins have committed to Dwayne Haskins as their likely starting quarterback, adding Kyle Allen in a trade with the Panthers indicating the pecking order will be 1) Haskins and 2) Allen this season. However, Ron Rivera is a fan of Newton after the two spent nine years together in Carolina, and signing the quarterback would potentially be doing him a favor while improving the football team (despite it potentially hurting Haskins’ confidence and development). Despite the presence of Haskins being a factor in the team’s decision, if the Redskins don’t sign Newton, it could be something that turns off the former Panther to the rest of the league even as a backup option considering Rivera can sign his former leader without giving up anything in the way of a trade.
Jacksonville traded Nick Foles to the Bears (making Chicago an unlikely fit for Newton), and Gardner Minshew is set to enter 2020 with a prime opportunity to show he can be the team’s long-term starter. But the Jaguars might be open to bringing in a talent like Newton on a low-risk deal. If they think they have something in the veteran quarterback during the summer, they can roll with him as the Week 1 starter and see what happens. Minshew was just a sixth-round pick last year, and serving as a backup for his second NFL season wouldn’t be a death knell to his chances of leading the Jags into the future. At the worst, signing Newton would make Minshew earn the starting job in a competition, which was going to be the scenario until Foles was traded.
The Seahawks obviously aren’t a good landing spot for Newton if he wants to hit the field in 2020, but Seattle might be the best spot for him to sit for a year as a backup if it comes to that. Russell Wilson is obviously 1000% locked into the starting role for at least another several years, and the Super Bowl winning quarterback has the attitude and leadership to accept Newton into Seattle’s quarterback room. Cam could rebuild his value, and you know the extremely optimistic Pete Carroll will have nothing but amazing things to say about Newton if he joins the squad, which could help him get a starting job in 2021.