It’s becoming clear that the Cleveland Browns are looking at all their options when it comes to their quarterback room and former MVP Cam Newton is a name that continues to be linked to the AFC North contender.
The Browns are expected to add another quarterback to the roster if Deshaun Watson is suspended “more than a couple of games,” per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. She dubbed Newton and former Browns QB Garrett Gilbert as the top options.
“There aren’t many available free-agent quarterbacks, but the list includes Garrett Gilbert, who played for the Browns in 2019-20, and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton,” Cabot wrote on July 19.
The Browns traded former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield to the Panthers and would rely on veteran Jacoby Brissett to start if Watson is out.
The Browns inked Brissett to a deal shortly after sending former backup Case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills. He has put up 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions over his NFL career and is 14-23 as a starter.
Behind Brissett on the depth chart sits Joshua Dobbs, who has completed just 10-of-17 career pass attempts for 45 yards and one interception. As Cabot noted, any new quarterback that comes in would likely bump Dobbs a spot down on the depth chart, putting him in practice squad territory.
Newton Confident He Can Still Play Despite Struggles
Newton has started just 22 games over the last three seasons. He was released by the Panthers following a 2019 campaign that saw him play two games due to a foot injury. He signed with the New England Patriots the following season as a free agent but didn’t look like his old self, going 7-8 and tossing just eight touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
He remained a free agent into November of last season before signing back with Carolina. He ended up starting five games but went winless in those contests, tossing four touchdowns and five interceptions. Newton did add five more touchdowns on the ground.
Despite his struggles, the 33-year-old Newton is confident he can still be a starter in the NFL.
“I said it: ‘There’s not 32 guys better than me,’” Newton said during an appearance on the “The Pivot Podcast.” “Comparing apples to apples, oranges to oranges, certain situations for certain situations, and if you think that I couldn’t be on somebody’s team right now, you’re a damn fool.”
NFL Considering Suspension of 2-to-8 Games for Watson
The idea of the Browns adding another quarterback depends on what kind of suspension the NFL decides to go with for Watson. The league is considering between two and eight games for the former passing leader, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
“The final punishment most likely won’t be one year. The currently expected range is two to eight games,” Florio wrote on July 19.
But even once the suspension is handed down, there could be more developments to follow, with either the NFL or Watson facing the decision to appeal the ruling. That being said, Cabot reported that Waton’s camp is confident he’ll see the field this year after missing all of last season.