Immediately after Cam Newton’s release from the New England Patriots prior to Week 1, many assumed it wouldn’t be long before another team signed the 2015 NFL MVP.
Personally, I figured Newton would have landed with another team quickly, possibly in a role with a chance to compete for the starting gig somewhere, perhaps with the Houston Texans. Obviously, it never happened, but now Newton is back in the news after he decided to get vaccinated. Could his new status make a team, or some teams more inclined to offer Newton what he’s looking for on the open market?
While Newton is still reportedly holding out for a starting role, the league currently has very few opportunities available. Here are five NFL teams who should still look to sign Newton as soon as possible.
New York Jets provide Zach Wilson with experienced backup
The 2021 rookie class of quarterbacks haven’t experienced as much immediate success as we saw from Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow in 2020. New York Jets rookie Zach Wilson has thrown nine interceptions, more than any other NFL QB through five games. In fact, the Jets’ signal-caller is on pace to break Peyton Manning’s record for the most interceptions by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (28).
At 1-4, Gang Green won’t be competing for the playoffs this season and while it’s hard to argue against pulling the player they selected second overall just months ago, it might serve Wilson well to learn from the bench for a bit. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if coach Robert Saleh removed Wilson late in the season if the Jets find themselves at say 3-12 with Wilson on the cusp of shattering Manning’s interception record.
Having someone like Newton offers a chance to see how the offense operates with a veteran under center while protecting their young quarterback from any further embarrassment. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a more capable backup.
Dallas Cowboys add to QB room with Cam Newton
Back from injury, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott looks as good as ever. However, what if… I shouldn’t say it. But the Cowboys need a viable backup QB. Being that Prescott’s status as a starter is firmly entrenched, having Newton looking over his shoulder shouldn’t be an issue for either ego, er quarterback.
The best part is the Cowboys could still use Newton in goal-line scenarios, creating the ultimate triple-option threat without putting their franchise guy in harm’s way. Newton can use his strong frame to take the beating when keeping the ball, while still surprising teams with a red zone toss here and there. Come on Jerry, make it happen.
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Seattle Seahawks bring Cam Newton into the mix
Though Geno Smith is finally getting his chance to start again after sitting on benches in various cities since 2017, his current status as a competent leader with potential may not last long. He looked refreshing in limited action filling in for Russell Wilson in Week 5, but Smith is who he is at this point. You can’t convince me Cam Newton wouldn’t be a superior option for the Seattle Seahawks in the long run, especially if Russ got traded.
Detroit Lions scoop up Cam Newton to make things awkward
If the Detroit Lions made the move to sign Cam Newton, things could get awkward quickly for Jared Goff. Sure, the Lions just traded for Goff in the 2021 offseason, but Mr. Perfect is Mr. Winless so far through five games. The Lions will realize he just isn’t a franchise quarterback. Getting a free look at someone who also led his team to the Super Bowl in Cam Newton wouldn’t be a terrible idea before they select someone else in the 2022 NFL Draft.
New Orleans Saints throw Cam Newton into QB rotation
After some offseason intrigue from a brief competition with Taysom Hill, it’s safe to say Jameis Winston has the keys to the offense in the Big Easy. He’s playing differently than he ever has in the NFL, no longer being asked to drop back 40 times per game, Winston is averaging a career-low amount of yardage per game. On the positive side, Winston is avoiding turnovers better than before.
Still, the New Orleans Saints just aren’t experiencing the same high-powered offense we’ve come to expect from Sean Payton for so many years being paired with Drew Brees. I’m not saying Newton would provide more downfield for the Saints, they need to upgrade their receiving corps, but if things don’t go according to plan with Winston, why not look into signing a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who’s still just 32?
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