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Steelers, Cam Newton, Panthers

NFL

Why the Steelers should try to trade for Panthers QB Cam Newton

The Carolina Panthers got off a 0-2 start before Cam Newton was sidelined so he can rehab from a foot injury. Since inserting Kyle Allen into the lineup, they have won four consecutive games and now have a 4-2 record.

The production that Allen has provided the Panthers has been truly impressive. He has gone 80-of-122 (65.6 percent) on his throws generating 901 yards and 7 touchdowns so far this season. He even became the first quarterback in NFL history to win his first five games without throwing an interception.

The strong play that Allen has provided the Panthers in Newton’s absence has naturally led some to the idea of trading Newton to start Allen at quarterback long-term. They would be able to focus on building around Allen and Christian McCaffrey with no distraction if they felt that was the best route to take.

There would be plenty of interest across the league if Newton were ever made available in trade talks. In fact, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report wrote that an unnamed AFC general manager told him that as many as 10 teams would be interested in acquiring Newton.

“One AFC general manager tells me he believes the trade market for Newton would be robust, and maybe as many as 10 teams would be interested. The concern teams have, this GM said, is Newton’s health.”

One team that should be interested in trading for Newton should be the Pittsburgh Steelers. They need a proven veteran at the helm to replace the soon to be 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger who is coming off season-ending elbow surgery.

The Steelers have received some flashes of potential from rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph before he suffered a concussion in Week 4. However, Newton would provide a more proven and dynamic element to the team while Rudolph can develop behind him.

It’s important to remember that Newton began this season injured and was actually quite impressive in 2018 despite playing injured. He played in 14 games last season and went 320-471 (67.9 percent) on his throws resulting in 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He even added 488 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns on 101 carries.

Playing behind the Steelers’ offensive line would be a benefit for Newton. They have allowed the fewest total of sacks (5) and are tied for the fewest allowed quarterback hits (13) so far this season. Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed 16 sacks (T-8th) and 29 quarterback hits (T-17th).

The attributes that Newton brings to the table seem to have gone under-appreciated by many. The Steelers could capitalize on that by ‘buying low’ on him if the Panthers continue to win games and believe in Allen as their long-term option.