Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is still on the free-agent market and searching for a new NFL home. While the former MVP maintains that he is fully healthy and ready to go, there don't appear to be any starting opportunities around the league.
The Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Chargers picked up new signal-callers in the 2020 NFL Draft and the New England Patriots appear comfortable moving forward with the quarterbacks they currently have in house. Due to the current landscape of the league, Newton is reportedly now open to signing as backup quarterback -- but only if the situation is right.
"The thought process has been all along that Newton wants to be a starter," Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network said on Thursday. "He does want to be a starter, former MVP, he should be a starter but the reality is that there just aren't any starting jobs available, so now -- maybe a little bit of a shift in philosophy here -- my understanding is that Cam Newton has not ruled out taking a backup job in the right situation. It remains to be seen where and when that will be, but obviously Newton is still unemployed and really only has two choices: take a potentially prime backup job right now or wait until another starter gets injured, which may or may not come."
Newton, who turns 31 later this month, is the Panthers' all-time leading passer -- having thrown for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions in nine seasons. The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft has made the Pro Bowl three times, was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2015 and helped the Panthers get to Super Bowl 50 in the same year. He was shut down for the last two games of the 2018 season due to a shoulder injury and then played in just two games last season before a Lisfranc injury knocked him out for the year. Earlier this offseason, the Panthers made the decision to release their long-time signal-caller.
As for what a "prime backup job" means, you would have to imagine it would be signing with a team that is unsure of their current starting quarterback. While the Washington Redskins -- who are currently run by his former head coach in Ron Rivera. Maybe Newton could reinvent himself down in Jacksonville with the Jaguars if Gardner Minshew struggles or even with the Los Angeles Rams if Jared Goff continues to regress. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be another option since they have already seen what Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges are capable of.in Newton, they seem to be an option as long as Newton is on the open market, as do the
It's always possible that Newton could wait for a starting job to open up, but it's not guaranteed that will happen. Either way, Newton has reportedly now had a change of heart and would consider taking a backup job -- if the situation is appealing enough.