NFL Debate: Cam Newton's Next Team
Following reports of Cam Newton's release from the Carolina Panthers two of our writers sat down to discuss the former MVP's next move.
Brian Good on why Cam is going to be a Patriot (+400)
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots find themselves in unfamiliar territory this offseason, looking for a signal caller to run their offense for the first time in 20 years after moving on from Tom Brady. When rumors first circulated that the Panthers would allow Cam Newton to seek a trade, many brushed off New England as a possible destination because of the $19.1 million he was set to make.
On Monday, when the Panthers officially announced their intention to release Newton, the reality of him starting the season under center for the Pats became much more likely. Newton, who enters his age 31 season this year, is exactly the type of veteran presence Belichick needs on offense. When healthy, he’s a dynamic threat with a big arm who has won big games throughout his career.
Newton, winner of the 2015 NFL MVP while leading the Panthers to a trip to the Super Bowl, has 29,041 career passing yards and 182 touchdowns through the air. He also averages over 600 yards rushing per year if you take out last year’s two-game season of which he missed the majority due to a Lisfranc injury.
As of Tuesday, Jarrett Stidham is scheduled to be the Patriots’ starter come this fall. I just don’t believe Belichick is ready to roll into the season with a second-year quarterback that has attempted just four passes in his career.
Newton’s injury-riddled past is well documented, but the Patriots are known to take low-risk/high-reward shots on talented players. Sometimes it works for them, as it did with Randy Moss, and sometimes, in the case of Antonio Brown, it doesn’t. Either way, the Patriots have never been afraid to go out and get talented players, and Newton is the most talented QB available by a longshot.
+400 is a good price behind the favorite Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars, who both sit at +250, and the Dolphins at +300. If all of those teams were to offer Newton a deal, I think the draw of winning with the greatest coach of all time and having a chance to get his first Super Bowl would be too much for Cam to ignore. The Patriots make too much sense for me not to back them.
Sam Farley on why Cam is going to be a Bronco (+1000)
There are a few teams in the running who don’t have clear starters in place. My pick to land Cam Newton is not one of them. The Pats and Chargers make great landing spots but at a price of +1000 you can’t look beyond Denver.
Sure, the Broncos already have Drew Lock and his new understudy Jeff Driskel, on the depth chart but despite Lock’s very impressive tail end of the season, Cam would give them a real shot at getting back to the Super Bowl.
You’ve got to believe that John Elway has been looking at another AFC West team, the Kansas City Chiefs, and how Andy Reid has utilized a QB with a great arm and who is also a threat outside of the pocket, now one of the best in recent years has hit the market and is available.
There are serious questions about Newton’s health after years of mismanagement by the Panthers, as seen by the lack of a trade partner, but if he’s available then it makes sense to kick the tires, especially when you have Drew Lock in the background too.
Despite his brilliance on the field, John Elway hasn’t been a great talent evaluator when it comes to quarterbacks. There have been a number of missteps during his tenure including Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Case Keenum and Joe Flacco. There’s also an argument that Peyton Manning was fortunate in the Super Bowl winning season to be carried by Von Miller and that elite defense.
Von Miller is back in 2020 alongside Bradley Chubb meaning that yet again the Broncos have a top-tier pass rush. Putting an experienced head in charge of the offense, now featuring a real power back in Melvin Gordon, and Phillip Lindsay as a compliment, and Courtland Sutton who really broke out last season, is the right move.
Elway has shown faith in Manning and Flacco in the past, proving that he is comfortable leaning on players with question marks over either fitness or form. Combine that history, along with the safety blanket of Drew Lock and a good cap situation, and the Broncos look very appealing at a huge +1000.
Latest Odds from PointsBet (as of 12:00 ET 03/24/20)
Los Angeles Chargers +250
Jacksonville Jaguars +250
Miami Dolphins +300
New England Patriots +400
Washington Redskins +575
Denver Broncos +1000
Pittsburgh Steelers +2000
Las Vegas Raiders +2000
Cincinnati Begals +5000