Cam Newton waiting to sign until after the draft is the smartest thing he can do

NFL, NFL Draft, NFL Free Agency

When the Panthers released Cam Newton, most thought he’d sign quickly. Instead, he’s waiting, and its the best decision he could have made.

The Carolina Panthers released their long-time starting quarterback Cam Newton on March 24th, 2020. This moved seemed inevitable after the team signed free agent Teddy Bridgewater to a big time contract earlier in the free agency period.

Newton seemed to lose his starting job after a rash of injuries saw him miss 14 games in the 2019 season; when the season concluded it felt inevitable that the team would move on.

Nonetheless, Newton has vowed to come back, even posting an intense workout video on his Instagram account. Despite this, and his history of success, the news on Newton has been limited, if not all together silent.

However, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported Thursday that Newton is being patient, and is willing to wait until after the NFL Draft to find his new home. And that, without a doubt, is the best move the former NFL MVP can possibly make.

There are two primary reasons why this is the smart play for Cam:

First, the NFL Draft brings hope to franchises of securing their dream scenario, especially for teams seeking a new starting quarterback. Inevitably, more than one of those teams will be left empty-handed when the drafts only four first round caliber prospects go earlier than expected. Thus, when the draft concludes, teams who miss out but needed a quarterback, will still need a quarterback. At that point, however, they’ll be slightly more desperate and willing to take a chance on Newton, despite his injury concerns, and willing to pay more to acquire the services of someone with his pedigree.

Some teams that may make sense after the draft as homes for the three time Pro Bowler may include:

  1. The LA Chargers, if they miss on Oregon’s Justin Herbert (and presumptively the Tua and Burrow, too).
  2. The New England Patriots have and continue to make a ton of sense for Newton. The team is unlikely to move up for one of the top four, given their history at the position, and will need a bridge quarterback for whomever the quarterback of the future is. It seems unlikely that the team is really going to Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer in 2020; but it seems far more likely that they draft someone like Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts or Georgia’s Jake Fromm later in the draft and groom him under a veteran like Newton.
  3. The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be relatively content with Gardner Minshew at the moment, but it seems highly unlikely that they do not at least bring in a capable, veteran backup after trading Super Bowl champion quarterback Nick Foles to the Bears. Bringing in someone like Newton, or Jameis Winston, or Derek Carr (if released/traded), would make a great deal of sense for the Jags.
  4. The Miami Dolphins may decide that moving up for Tua is too expensive, that Herbert is not worth the 5th pick, and subsequently take the best tackle available and worry about quarterback later. Newton could be that later, and the Dolphins would be a great landing spot for him.

Regardless of which team it is, someone will miss out in the 2020 draft; and the phone ringing will be music to the ears of Cam Newton.

Newton is going to get a shot to start somewhere in 2020 if he is healthy (and he seems to be). But, waiting until after the draft will bring more desperate suitors, a better understanding of the layout of rosters, and more money for Cam.

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