The list of NFL teams with either an injured and/or underperforming quarterback seems to grow each week, and that means the clamor for a team to sign 2015 NFL MVP, and former Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is getting louder.
On Sunday, October 24, sports talk show host Michael Balko took to Twitter to drop a guarantee. Balko is “willing to bet” Newton will be signed “by this time next week.” Balko doesn’t just believe Newton’s free agent status will be coming to an end shortly, he names two teams we should watch in the process.
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A return to the Panthers would be quite the story. Newton is the franchise’s most popular player ever as he led them to a Super Bowl during his MVP season.
Right now, Carolina doesn’t seem settled at quarterback. They took a chance acquiring former No. 2 overall pick Sam Darnold from the New York Jets during the offseason. After a strong start, the Panthers have dropped four in a row and that includes an embarrassing 25-3 defeat in Week 7 to the New York Giants. Darnold looked horrendous in the game completing just 16 of 25 passes for 111 yards, no touchdowns and this egregious interception:
The Panthers pulled Darnold from this game late and P.J. Walker came in and was actually even worse. Walker completed just 3 of 14 passes for 33 yards. Based on these performances, the Panthers’ current slide and Newton’s popularity in Carolina, it’s easy to see why he might be connected to a potentially available spot at QB with the organization.
Also, the Panthers host the Patriots Week 9. Imagine what that atmosphere would be like if Newton was the starter playing against New England. The Patriots would gift the NFL with two of the more intriguing regular season games on the schedule after the Week 4 meeting with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Washington Football Team isn’t getting dreadful play from Taylor Heinecke, but because of another Panthers connection to current head coach Ron Rivera, Newton’s name keeps coming up in conjunction with this squad. We respect Balko’s take, but I would not bet on this happening.
Other NFL Teams Who Could Use Newton’s Services
The Houston Texans still make a ton of sense for Newton. Rookie Davis Mills hasn’t been terrible in place of Deshaun Watson and Tyrod Taylor, but it’s easy to see why Texans general manager Nick Caserio might see Newton as an attractive option.
His leadership and popularity seem like a plus for a franchise badly in need of positively compelling storylines.
Also, the Pittsburgh Steelers would be a great fit. Ben Roethlisberger is way past his prime at 39 years old, and unlike Newton, he can no longer add the running element to a team’s offensive attack, having rushed for over 100 yards in only four of his 18 seasons in the NFL.
Newton’s presence could be a net positive for the Steelers offense.
Meanwhile, The Patriots Smoked the Jets in Week 7
The Patriots aren’t much concerned with what may or may not happen with Newton these days. The team is coming off a lopsided win over the rival New York Jets.
Mac Jones and company overwhelmed the Jets 54-13 in Week 7 with the rookie quarterback eclipsing the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in his NFL career. The Patriots are 3-4 heading into what figures to be a tough road matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) and MVP candidate Justin Herbert.
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