The ability for former MVP quarterback Cam Newton to find a home, particularly as a starter, is becoming more and bleaker. It seems these days, he’s better known for his fashion choices and diva-like tendencies rather than on the field accomplishments. Suiters for the Auburn product are not forth coming, mainly due to being sufficiently supplied at that position. Plus, the taboo of being over 30 years old and coming off a season cut short due to injury doesn’t help his case. Does that mean all is lost? Not necessarily. However, the window of opportunity is getting increasingly smaller. When looking across the NFL landscape, I’ve come up with two viable options that remain for Cam Newton to find a new home as a starter.
Yes, the Washington Redskins drafted Dwayne Haskins in the first round of last year’s NFL Draft. However, from all reports and talk from water coolers everywhere, it’s not exactly the happiest of marriages. Although Haskins showed some promise in the later part of his rookie season, that position for Redskins at best has been a dumpster fire. From all indications, the previous staff wasn’t exactly keen on drafting Dwayne in the first place. Some have went so far as to say that move was a Dan Synder decision, not the choice of the majority.
Alex Smith’s future is filled with great uncertainty. Colt McCoy is a free agent, but clearly never possessed enough of the “it” factor to be the savior of a once proud organization. Case Keenum has been exported to Cleveland and also fit the description I just associated with McCoy. So, here sits Dwayne Haskins by default. Does that mean he is the best choice? Maybe, maybe not. With so many questions surrounding him, stockpile that along with the fact that the Redskins have employed a new coach with a brand new system.
Enter veteran Cam Newton. He comes with a wealth of experience, a Super Bowl appearance, an MVP performance, and great familiarity with Ron Rivera’s offense. There is no learning curve nor growing pains. The system presumably flows without a hiccup. Plus, it allows the enigmatic second year QB a chance to sit and learn. There’s no pressure. If Cam has the right mindset, Dwayne has the opportunity to grow under the mentorship of a former MVP. Worst case scenario, if this idea is a colossal bust, Cam will be benched and it goes back to Haskins leading the charge.
It’s an option that isn’t far-fetched. As a matter of fact, the idea has been tossed around the organization. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the Redskins have been monitoring Newton’s situation in Carolina. “I’m told the team discussed it, talks did not rise to the level of definitive interest at this time, more of a “wait & see mode” right now observing Newton’s market,” said Anderson. So, Rivera could take this into consideration. I’m sure the comfort of having a signal caller familiar with his system would be very appealing.
Regarding Washington as a potential destination for Cam Newton, I'm told the team discussed it, talks did not rise to the level of definitive interest at this time, more of a "wait & see mode" right now observing Newton's market. #Skins also like their young guys too, per source.— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 18, 2020
New England Patriots:
Unless you’ve lived under a rock these past few days, you’re aware that 6-time Super Bowl winning legendary QB Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots to warmer pastures in Tampa Bay. Who is left to take the throne of New England? For some, their eyes shift directly to another former Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham, who’s approaching his second year. Many like him, including head coach Bill Belichick. “Jarrett is a smart kid. He picks things up very quickly. He has a good grasp of the offense given where he is in his career. He’s handled everything we’ve thrown at him. In practice, he does a good job. He gets a lot of passes on our defense, and when he has the opportunity to get the offensive snaps he’s prepared and does a good job of those.” At this point, it’s a “wait-and-see” situation. Jarrett is a good touch passer, throws a catchable ball, has good field vision, can throw on the run, and has the ability to extend plays with his feet. In 2017 at Auburn, he completed 67% of his passes for 3,158 yards and 18 touchdowns. Oh, and he happened to beat both Georgia and Alabama, the eventual finalists for the national championship game. However, in 2018, fans would see his production drop. He completed 61% of his passes for 2,794 yards and 18 touchdowns. Before fans start clamoring for a redo, hold your horses. Auburn lost a lot to graduation and the NFL. Plus, let’s call it like it is, Gus Malzahn didn’t know what he was doing; especially when it came to getting the most out of his quarterback. Stidham is a great leader and a winner. After all, you don’t beat Alabama and Georgia on accident. In addition, if you missed preseason last year, Stidham was dropping dimes and lighting the field up often. He’s given Patriots fans reason to be optimistic.
Difficult day for @Patriots fans but they need to know BB stole Jarrett Stidham in 4th round. High-end natural arm talent. Comes off his hand so easy. Also bright and mature. Sources say he made huge strides in system last year. Talented enough to be Brady’s long-term successor. pic.twitter.com/s7Jp6ZOV5N— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 17, 2020
Others, like former NFL safety Ryan Clark believe this is not the time to test the waters with Stidham.“Well, I think they’re gonna look internally and understand that Jarrett Stidham is not ready,” Clark said. “It’s not Jarrett Stidham’s time, and coming into the draft last year, you thought getting him in the mid rounds could be a steal because you would have a future starter. But you don’t right now,” Clark said on a recent edition of ESPN’s “Get Up”. So, if he’s not the answer, then who is? Clark was very quick to back up his point with another option. “Cam Newton comes out (Tuesday) and says, ‘You know what? I didn’t ask for a trade. You don’t do me like that. Carolina, don’t put that narrative out there.’ But this is a guy, if he’s healthy, if you feel like he can quarterback, I think he works in New England. And here’s why: Week to week, New England changes as an offense, whether they want to be a run-first offense, that they’re an offense that’s gonna check the ball out of the backfield with their backs or if they’re gonna use wide receivers outside. So they can definitely, with (offensive coordinator) Josh McDaniels and all that they have, morph into a team that can work with Cam Newton at the quarterback,” Ryan Clark states. So, I’m not the only one to have this idea. Someone with prestige is backing up my theory. He’s right. If Cam is the 100% healthy version of himself, he can be one of the most elite at his position playing the game. Newton would need to employ the right attitude though. If he waltzes into New England with his diva persona in full force, it doesn’t work and he’s done. However, if he buys into Belichick and McDaniels, the second coming of the Patriots machine will be upon us.
If Cam can’t gain employment by either of these organizations, he’s looking at being a backup. There just aren’t many opportunities outside of New England and Washington. Nick Foles has landed in Chicago. San Diego has made it known that they will not require the services of a veteran to replace Philip Rivers outside of Tyrod Taylor. The Titans just gave Ryan Tannehill a fat contract. Let’s face it, the Chargers and Dolphins aren’t looking to anyone other than Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert for their future. I could list other scenarios, but the point has been made. It is going to be an interesting adventure to follow for certain. Hopefully, for Newton’s sake, his next team will be calling soon.
I am a 2003 graduate from the University of Alabama with a degree in Exercise Science. While at the Capstone, I served as a student assistant with the head strength and conditioning coach of the Crimson Tide football team. I have competed in both powerlifting and bodybuilding for several years. In addition, I have served athletes and people through the arena of personal training. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I am a passionate fan of Alabama, but do not make other fan bases miserable because of it. College football has my heart first, but I cover all areas of sports. Follow me on Twitter: @justinriley7!