In an article ranking the top 50 free agents for 2021, Pro Football Focus predicts that Cam Newton will sign the Cincinnati Bengals.
The uncertainty of the moment Joe Terrier will return from reconstructive knee surgery could put the Cincinnati Bengals in position to sign a quarterback in the 2021 offseason. Pro Football Focus predicts that Cam Newton will sign with the Bengals in an article titled “Free Agency 2021: Ranking the NFL’s Top 50 Free Agents. »
Newton signed with the New England Patriots for one year and $1.75 million in July. It’s been an uneven season for Newton in New England. The former MVP would be a huge upgrade for the Bengals as a potential starter early in the season and as Burrow’s replacement when he’s ready to return in the 2021 season.
Newton has completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 1,984 four touchdowns and nine interceptions this season. With 92 carries for 387 yards and nine rushing touchdowns, Newton has been an asset to New England on the field. Once Burrow returns, Newton would be an asset to the Bengals at short range.
Pro Football Focus expects Newton to sign a one-year, $20 million contract with Cincinnati. That seems high for a QB who plays for $1.75 million in 2020 and plans to be a backup for most of the 2021 season. PFF points out that Newton has been less than an average passer for most of his career.
Who should the Bengals sign to play Joe Burrow?
3. Allen Robinson
9. Will Fuller
Ranking the 50 best free agents in the NFLhttps://t.co/MyHkrl02eR
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 2, 2020
15. QB CAM NEWTON
Outside of Newton’s 2015 MVP season in which he earned an 86.5 overall rating, he’s been a mid-level passer with the added benefit of what he brings to the running game. Newton is a close range monster, and an effective offense can be built around this skill set.
However, the 2015 season is far more outlier than the norm at this point, and Newton’s accuracy and decision-making limit his potential in the passing game. He has twice finished in the top 10 in the PFF quarterback rankings in his 10 years in the league.
Newton was available for the entire 2020 offseason until the Patriots stepped in at the last moment to offer him a one-year deal with a base value of just $1.75 million.
Newton’s injuries have been the biggest hurdle that has kept teams at bay, and while his 2020 campaign has been far from perfect, he’s third among all quarterbacks with 94 rushing attempts in Week 12 ( behind only Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray).
He may not be the MVP-caliber quarterback he once was, but he’s made it clear he still deserves to start in this league. There were a few tough outings, but given his circumstances (new team, truncated offseason, worst WR/TE group in the NFL, and contracting COVID-19), he also played admirably during game periods.
Prediction: The Bengals sign Newton to a fully guaranteed, one-year, $20 million contract.
The limitations Newton brings to the passing game would still be a huge improvement for the Bengals Brandon Allen and Ryan Finley. Newton has a 79.8 passer rating and 50.6 QBR this season. Burrow had 89.8 and 57.7 this season, Allen 67.6 and 10.9 and Finley 0.0 and 20.9 on 10 attempts.
Finley came on as a relief for Burrow when he was injured two weeks ago against the Washington football team. Allen started last Sunday against the New York Giants and is ranked first on the depth chart for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. Allen was much more efficient than Finley.
Finley was 3-10 for 30 interception yards in his only appearance this season. Allen was 17-29 for 136 yards, one touchdown and one interception against the Giants. The Bengals need to get more passes from Allen on the field, but his 58.6 completion percentage was at least adequate if below par.