It’s clear: By throwing for only 2,657 yards, eight passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, combined with 157 carries for 592 yards and 12 rushing scores, Cam Newton struggled for the New England Patriots in the 2020 NFL season. Beset by a team not totally sure of its offensive identity after franchise savant Tom Brady left in the offseason to go to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton was seeming to be fighting an uphill battle all year, based on his below-average output.
Only brought in on a one-year, prove-it deal, the Pats and Cam Newton seem somewhat likely headed to a divorce after only one season, which may end up being best for both sides.
For New England, they were hoping to be able to bring Cam Newton and potentially recapture some of his MVP-like production from his days with the Carolina Panthers, but that never truly came to fruition. Thankfully, the one-year investment that they made by bringing Newton in did not cost them all that much, and it made sense for the team to give it a shot, as this season was seen as a commitment to the long-term health of this team, rather than short-term results.
Cam Newton, on the other hand, did nothing to help better his free agency stock for this offseason, as his production was super inconsistent, siding with the downward spiral more often than not. While he did show some bright spots, the former Panther was not on his A-game for the vast majority of the season.
Accuracy issues surrounding Cam Newton for most of the year, and his reliance on running the ball turned him into a one-dimensional QB at times, especially when the Pats needed him to be able to take over the game through the passing game.
As always, there are a number of teams that need new signal-callers this offseason, which provides Cam Newton with a bit of options – the big question is if those teams are actually interested in him. Below are three of those options that could be good fits for Newton, both on a one-year deal and as a long-term solution.
Probably seen as a true darkhorse candidate out of many teams in the league, the Denver Broncos seem to be willing to find out what else this league has to offer in terms of competent QB talent. Enter Cam Newton, who lost to the Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Incumbent starter Drew Lock, who was taken by former general manager John Elway and seen as the next franchise leader, has struggled to ascend into that starter role and has become more of a liability.
New GM George Paton, who came over from the Minnesota Vikings front office, has solidifying the QB spot as one of the top options on his offseason list. Cam Newton could be part of that equation. And while that could involve keeping Lock on as his starter, his two seasons in the league (18 games) have not been quite as promising as they would have liked.
Cam Newton would be an interesting addition for head coach Vic Fangio and company, as his familiarity with running an offense that blends under-center and shotgun work together would help put him in an impressive grouping of outside options. His mobility was certainly on display with the Pats last year, an element that Lock can bring to the table but does not often enough, and he would be able to slide into a good role throwing to Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy, and Courtland Sutton.
The likelihood of the front office choosing to replace Lock the first chance they get certainly would be a shock to the system with Lock not playing terribly, but if they were to look elsewhere, they could do a lot worse than Cam Newton, even if just on a one-year deal to help bridge the gap until the next QB.
Washington Football Team
After somehow being able to win the dreadful NFC East division, the Washington Football Team put up a solid fight against the Buccaneers at home, ultimately falling in the Wild Card round. Would they have won with Cam Newton at QB? Probably not, especially with how Taylor Heinicke ended up playing.
But moving into next year, can the team really count on Heinicke to be the guy leading this team? He was without a team for a good chunk of 2020 until COVID and injuries forced Washington to go his way, and even with that gutsy performance to end the season, he does not project to be a long-term guy for Washington.
Cam Newton knows that Alex Smith certainly is in line for the 2020 Comeback Player of the League award after making a comeback from also needing to amputate his right leg, but his best playing days are long gone, acting more as a game manager more than anything now, something that does not do enough for this Washington offense.
Thankfully enough, Cam Newton would be a solid addition for this team as they try to figure out an identity for themselves, both on and off the field. Newton would be a solid plug-in option for Washington and would help give a new sense of mobility for this offense, pairing well with RB Antonio Gibson, WR Terry McLaurin, and TE Logan Thomas.
On the cheap, Cam Newton would be a great stop-gap option for one or two years for this team, and his familiarity with head coach Ron Rivera and a good amount of the WAS offensive staff from his days in Carolina would be a natural fit.
Ah yes, the Chicago Bears – a travesty that they decided to go with Mitchell Trubisky instead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.
But enough about what they have done in the past, it is not about what they can do in the future – and that could very well involve moving on from Trubisky… which brings Cam Newton into the picture.
Competing with Nick Foles during the offseason and the regular season, Trubisky ended up getting the last laugh, as he started and ended the season and helped lead this team to an improbable postseason berth. While they were held down quite easily by the Saints defense in the Wild Card round, it was a good stamp to put on Trubisky’s career accolades up to this point, something that could help him find a new team next year if the two sides do not want to run it back.
Newton’s chances of joining the Bears this offseason obviously rests on the team’s willingness to admit a mistake and move on from Trubisky – and if they make the right decision and not bring him back, then Cam Newton’s low salary would be a good fit for a team that is not too flush on cap space, especially with the need to resign WR Allen Robinson.
A potential fit for a QB towards the end of the first round, Cam Newton could serve as the guy to fight with Foles in preseason work and offseason camp, even though neither certainly are needle movers for this team. A potential financial out for the Bears to move on from Foles would come after the ‘21 season, meaning that the chance of Newton coming in and keeping Foles on the bench for the full season would bode well for the Bears offense.