ESPN’s Mike Clay has said he believes Newton should sign with the New Orleans Saints. He and several other writers were posed with the question. Here is Clay’s blurb response:
Assuming Drew Brees moves on and with Jameis Winston headed to free agency, perhaps signing Newton to compete with Taysom Hill makes sense for New Orleans. At the very least, both rely heavily on their legs, which should make game-planning a bit easier in the event of a change under center.
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This doesn’t seem like a sound projection or prediction for several reasons. Let’s discuss.
Would Newton Actually Want to Play for the Saints?
Sean Payton is a fantastic football coach and he has helped to author one of the best offenses in the NFL over the past 7 years. The Saints have proven weapons in wide receiver Michael Thomas and all-world, all-purpose TD machine Alvin Kamara.
However, we’ve seen what Payton wants to do with his dual-threat options. Clay mentions Taysom Hill, but Newton is a far more accomplished and proven thrower of the football. I cannot imagine Newton embracing a role that has him competing for a gadget quarterback spot in the Big Easy.
Perhaps Payton wouldn’t run the Hill package with Newton. If there is anyone who knows how good Newton can be it’s Payton who was front and center for the 2015 MVP’s best performances for years when Cam was a member of the Saints’ NFC South rivals, the Carolina Panthers. If there is some flexibility on both parts, perhaps it’s a union that could work.
Would the Saints Actually Be Interested in Cam Newton?
The Saints are almost certain to move on from Brees soon, if not immediately after this season.
If that’s the case, they will be looking for a quarterback they can build around. At 31, that’s not Newton, but he could be a bridge quarterback for the Saints who could draft a developmental signal-caller who could learn under Newton while he is prepared to take the reins in a season or two.
If there is no style mismatch, a player of Newton’s age and ability might be attractive to the Saints.
Don’t Count Out the Patriots Return
Everyone seems to be placing Newton with any team but the Patriots. We don’t know if he’ll be back or not. Just because there was no agreement at the end of the season doesn’t mean he can’t re-sign.
Granted, the tone and verbiage of Newton’s comments toward the end of the year sounded like a man bidding farewell. He is the kind of person who wears his heart on his sleeve, so it’s easy to understand why people would conclude the sides are parting ways from his tone.
However, I’d caution everyone to let this thing play out over the next few months. We have to see who and what is available in free agency and in the draft before we know what the Patriots or Newton are doing. I would not be surprised to see him return.
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