There have been seemingly infinite rumors surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback situation since the end of the season. Many have pegged Tom Brady as a target for the team, but there are many other interesting quarterbacks who could be available. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton could draw the interest of the Raiders:
“If he is healthy this is a great fit. (Jon) Gruden knows all of these quarterbacks from studying them and meeting them at ESPN. I could see him buying low on Cam. He’s ready to move on from (Derek) Carr. The Panthers need draft picks and the Raiders have plenty.” I have heard similar sentiments from other well-connected sources about this proposition and have yet to encounter a trusted source in the NFL who believes Carr will be back with the Raiders.
There is a new head coach for the Panthers and while he’s come out and endorsed Newton as the quarterback for 2020, things can always change. Newton has fallen off quite a bit since he was the MVP of the NFL in 2015. Most of that is thanks to injuries, but it’s also possible that he just doesn’t have the skill that made him a star anymore.
Jameis Winston Is Also Possible
If the Raiders are out on Derek Carr but don’t want to trade for Newton, La Canfora believes that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is an option:
At this point I asked if he thought Winston could be in play with the Raiders, which is something I have heard myself. “Totally, I could [see] him with Gruden. Big arm. Wants to go downfield. Different from Carr in a lot of ways. That makes sense to me, too.”
Winston is younger than Newton, but his best season isn’t nearly as good. He had elite talent to throw to for most of the year and still managed to throw 30 interceptions. It’s very difficult to imagine Jon Gruden will be able to deal with that. This isn’t the first time Winston’s name has been linked to the Raiders, but the move just wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
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Carr for Newtown Trade Could Happen
If Newton is available on the trade market, how much he’ll cost remains to be seen. Considering how he’s played the last few years, he’d probably be relatively cheap. La Confara proposed that a Carr for Newton swap could be fair:
I also asked about a proposition I have been thinking a lot about lately – the prospect of Carr and Newton being part of the same trade. This source hadn’t considered that but it didn’t sound crazy to him, either. Carolina would get more service time on a contract with Carr at the same team-friendly rate as Newton. “I could see it being a scheme fit,” he said.
That would kill two birds with one stone for both teams, but Carr might actually be more valuable than Newton. He doesn’t have the injury history and he’s more recently had a good season. Many are trying to paint a picture that the Raiders are desperate to get rid of Carr, but they did this last year. Newton or Winston would not be definitive upgrades over him and it’s hard to imagine Gruden doesn’t understand that.