With Cam Newton now officially unemployed, a former MVP quarterback will suddenly be available for any NFL team to sign. Which landing spots make the most sense? Here are the top six:
6. Washington Redskins
This might be a longshot with 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins on the roster, but new Redskins head coach Ron Rivera has already acquired one former pupil in Kyle Allen, and it’s not as though this regime drafted Haskins. Washington has also been linked to Tua Tagovailoa, so who the heck knows.
5. Las Vegas Raiders
In this case, we’re just rooting for chaos. Give us Jon Gruden running a quarterback room with Newton, Derek Carr, and Marcus Mariota. That would create some remarkable drama for the team’s maiden summer in Vegas. But seriously, it’s obvious Chucky isn’t satisfied with the quarterback he inherited, and Mariota isn’t likely the answer. Screw it — let’s have a three-way camp battle between a trio of high-profile quarterbacks.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
They gave up on Nick Foles already, but does that really mean second-year sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew II is the long-term answer? If Newton lingers on the market for a while because teams can’t get a strong enough feel for where he’s at medically, Jacksonville might realize it needs an alternative to Minshew. This wouldn’t be a totally ideal destination for Newton because he might not be guaranteed the starting job and the Jags have been gutted of late, but there’s still plenty of talent there.
3. Miami Dolphins
Why the hell not? Miami has the salary-cap space, the lack of a long-term option at quarterback and — apparently — somewhat of a drive to win now. A team that went 5-4 to finish the 2019 season has spent over $230 million on contracts for free agents this offseason, and will get a lot better when it’s on the clock six times in the first 70 picks of the draft. Newton would also be a star off the field in South Florida, where he’d fit right in.
2. New England Patriots
The Pats clearly have an opening following Tom Brady’s departure, and the defense and coaching staff should still have them in a strong position to contend with a healthy, productive quarterback in 2020. They were still often dominant despite Brady’s rapid decline in 2019. There’s no doubt Newton is a better option than Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham, and he’d enjoy a high-profile landing spot like this.
1. Los Angeles Chargers
This always made the most sense in every way. Newton can’t wait for a rebuild, and the Chargers can’t wait for a young quarterback to emerge. Both are motivated to win right now, and the Bolts are built to support Newton. They have two 1,000-yard receivers, a stud running back, a standout tight end, a somewhat revamped offensive line, and a stacked defense. Plus, Newton is a brand. He has the Q rating to sell tickets and flex his celebrity muscle in Hollywood as the Chargers move into a new stadium and battle for a fanbase that’s up for grabs.