There is a fine line between prudence and stupidity. There is something to be said for being patient with commercial and free will options at this time of year in the NFL, but it is another thing to be foolish.
The wait for Cam Newton’s next team has gone on long enough. The inevitable waiting game between the Panthers and the rest of the league took place like everyone else involved. The market has ignored Newton, knowing that the Panthers would release him within a week of coming to terms with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and the recent MVP championship is now sitting on the open market.
So wake people up. It is time to jump. Chargers, Marauders, Patriots, I’m talking to you. Dolphins and jaguars, you should at least consider it strongly. Bengals, you may also want to kick it around.
Of course, there is a lot of uncertainty with the 30 year old, given his injury in the past two seasons. Yes, I can understand a little trepidation on Newton’s foot, who ended his 2019 season after two games, following a shoulder injury that stopped him in 2018. But that’s why all contracts are not binding. until the team cannot conduct a physicist. And that’s more than enough protection, given the chance to purchase perhaps one of the greatest talents to get the role.
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Maybe Newton has lost a half step. Perhaps the accumulation of all those years spent interpreting his linebacker position has reached him. But if there was ever a buyer’s market, here it is, with the whole league missing out on the chance to exchange an end-of-round choice for a previous high-level production on a one-year flyer, $ 19 million contract .
Which tells us a few things about what will come next.
In this depressed and overcrowded QB market, Newton is most likely looking at a trial contract below $ 19 million. I guess maybe about $ 15 million with the chance to earn another four or five in game time and productivity incentives. If someone was evaluating him more, they would have traded for him.
An enterprising team with the need to upgrade to the quarterback may be able to convince Newton to agree on a two or three year deal that automatically cancels if it manages to reach certain high thresholds. Or, in case Newton reaches certain standards in 2020, then a further year of agreement will be activated, say, at $ 35 million or something. Regardless, there are more than a few creative ways a club could stick to this resource, knowing that if Newton plays well in 2020, and then leaves as a free agent in 2021, then a high 2022 comp pick will come. A team could sign Cam and still draw a maximum of QB in the first round. They will not be mutually exclusive.
Not to forget, according to football analyst Warren Sharp, Newton has accomplished the following in his seven healthy seasons in the NFL (until 2019, when his injury luck changed). He was the only quarterback in the league to launch at least 150 TD passes and run for at least 40 TD. He was the only quarterback to run for 300 yards or more in all seven seasons. He was one of only five QBs to cast 17 or fewer choices in all seven seasons, and one of only six to start at least 14 games in all.
It is not a turnover machine like Jameis Winston. He is very much a touchdown maker. He is an intentional and determined football player who has a unique build and skillset: his arm to throw the ball everywhere and his legs to break through the defenses or to launch beyond. And he will be as motivated as anyone else in the NFL, since he is suddenly on the scrap pile after becoming the face of the Panthers and one of the faces of the NFL.
Can it be a little strange? Sure. Occasionally it disturbs opponents with its downturn. I presume. But who cares? We are not talking about a $ 125 million commitment here. And after Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and Marcus Mariota all got less than they expected (hell, every starting QB that moved to this point was an exception for Ryan Tannehill), there never was a time like this to catch Newton’s fall.
This guy has been a winner all his life. The biggest concern was his shoulder, which was healed enough to allow him to start 2019 on time. And his foot will have had almost a full calendar year to heal before week 1 rolls over (and even longer if the start of the season is late).
Oh, you say it might not be ready for the start of the OTAs? Might it take some extra time? Guess what, there isn’t a team in the NFL that believes there will be OTAs and maybe not even a single minicamp before the training camps begin. There will not be an offseason program with kids around the team facilities for two months. Everyone will have to learn remotely, and Newton’s attributes and strengths are well established enough to allow an intelligent coordinator to create an offense around him.
So yes, it makes sense for different teams.
The patriots are not doing anything strange in response to Brady passing by. They will be methodical and would prefer not to have a model in which an abundance of limit space is tied in the quarterback. The space for limits is a bit of a problem … but Newton would be the most excellent quarterback of the bridge ever with a one-year contract, given that he is a bit ready for last year’s QB, and perhaps what will draw this year. And with the specter of no off-season work, I would much prefer to have a veteran QB for 2020. Coordinator Josh McDaniels once selected Tim Tebow in the first round and went to the playoffs with him; he could do wonders with Cam.
The chargers continue to tell everyone that they are perfectly happy to open their new shiny stadium with Tyrod Taylor and write a QB in the first round. Great. Do exactly that, but with Newton instead. The Raiders have made it clear that they are open to an upgrade over David Carr – Newton would qualify and his cap with Carr would also be less than what some teams have brought for a single initial QB.
Of course, Tua looks like a natural for dolphins. But it’s coming out of a serious hip injury. They could put Newton in the role of Ryan Fitzpatrick and maybe mess up and compete in AFC East. If I’m Newton, there is no way in hell to sign with jaguars, or even to consider it, knowing that I need a great year with a little talent around me to try and get a huge new long deal. the street. But the Jags should definitely kick the tires.
Even the Bengali, clinging to Joe Burrow with the first general choice, have always had a lot of season. I wrote a column to the combine on what load they could have gotten for the first overall choice, they have an offense built to compete right now, there will also be big QB in the draft of 2021 and they could turn Newton upside down for something big even before that draft if it bounces as I expect. It’s too unconventional for the conservative super franchise, but the prospect still interests me deeply.
Regardless, there are more than enough teams who could use it right now to win games. If the physical fails, whenever it is able to take it, then the physical fails and you leave. The reward far outweighs the risk at this point. It’s time to make a move.