We’re about to enter May and Cam Newton still doesn’t have an NFL team. What happens to him now that the 2020 NFL Draft is on the books?
Cam Newton remains without a football home in May.
The former Carolina Panthers No. 1 overall pick is still looking for a new team to join ahead of the 2020 NFL season. Newton won a national championship and the 2010 Heisman Trophy at Auburn before becoming arguably the greatest player in Panthers football history. The 2015 NFL MVP finds himself unemployed ahead of what would be his 10th season in the league.
From Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, 13 impressive college quarterbacks were drafted. sunday morning saw James Winston change rival teams in the NFC South. The former No. 1 overall in 2015 and 2013 Heisman Trophy winner is expected to move from Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints. He won’t even have to leave the Gulf Coast.
Now that the music has stopped and there are apparently no more chairs for Newton to sit on, where does he go now? Who could be a candidate to sign Newton in the coming months? What will his role look like in a new team? Let’s find out now.
Who could sign Cam Newton?
You have to search very hard, but there are maybe four teams who could consider signing Newton. The two most obvious that come to mind are the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Neither team drafted a quarterback over the weekend and there are ways to get some playing time fairly quickly in either location.
For New England, 2020 playing time looks most likely as Newton would just have to beat fellow brother Auburn Jarrett Stidham for the start concert. Newton may not have the feel of a prototypical Bill Belichick player, but neither does he Randy Moss when he looked like he was washed as a member of the then-Oakland Raiders before boarding. New England is always a possibility.
With Pittsburgh, it’s strange that the Steelers didn’t draft someone like Jalen hurts, who went to the state rival Philadelphia Eagles early enough in the second round. The idea with Newton to go to Pittsburgh is that he will be the heir apparent to Ben Roethlisberger in the City of Steel. They are from the same quarterback prototype. Both are beaten, but Newton is considerably younger of the two.
While those two spots make a lot of sense, let’s consider two more for fun: What if Newton goes to the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks as a backup? It would be a bit of a rehabilitation project for him in either location, as he wouldn’t be expected to stay there very long. He will elevate the respective quarterback rooms and be an elite backup in every location.
In Denver, Newton would join a Broncos team that is about to hand over Drew Lock the starting job entering its second season. Lock impressed throughout the stretch, but the Broncos quarterback’s situation has been tumultuous at best since then. Peyton Manning retired. It is also important that Newton’s former offensive coordinator Mike Shula coaches quarterbacks in Denver.
With Seattle, it’s the Russell Wilson show in the Pacific Northwest and everyone knows it. However, the Seahawks don’t have a reliable backup, or even someone who can play with their legs like Wilson often has to behind his perpetually wet paper bag from an offensive line. Newton’s favorite target in Carolina in the tight end Greg Olson now lives in Seattle.
What’s going on now with Cam Newton?
The best thing for Newton to do is stay fit and stay healthy first and foremost. His talent is too undeniable for him to remain unemployed for very long. Eventually, some NFL teams will see their quarterback get injured in training camp, and Newton will fly to one of those places for a visit.
It may take until the summer, but Newton will be on a new NFL team at the start of the 2020-21 college year. There will be a suitor, maybe more than one. A team will quickly discover that one of its third-day quarterback picks can’t play and bring in Newton during the latter stages of the preseason to compete for a backup job. He will win that and maybe more.
There could be other teams that could surface in the coming weeks, but let’s start with these four (New England, Pittsburgh, Denver, Seattle) and see what happens. While he may not be the player he was five years ago, when things are going well, there are very few quarterbacks you’ll want to lead an offense on than Newton. Ask anyone who played with him in 2010 and 2015.