Following a lackluster 2020 season, Cam Newton’s options on the open market might be limited.
But perhaps a head coach who’s awfully familiar with Newton will be open to giving the veteran quarterback a shot.
Newton, who signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots back in July, officially will become a free agent when the new NFL year opens in March. Months ahead of the start of free agency, ESPN tasked a panel of its NFL experts to identify the team that should sign the 2015 NFL MVP.
If you ask Field Yates, the Washington Football Team presents the best fit for Newton.
“This would be a reunion with Ron Rivera and Scott Turner, who coached Cam in Carolina,” Yates wrote. “While Washington does still have Alex Smith under contract for two more seasons, his salary is not guaranteed beyond this season. His return was one of the best stories in all of sports in 2020, and staying in Washington shouldn’t be ruled out, but it likely would come at a reduced cost. Newton isn’t in a position of leverage to command major money but would represent a low-risk bridge option for Washington as it angles for its long-term starter via the draft.”
A sense of familiarity potentially could be a preference for Newton, who was tasked with learning the notoriously complex Patriots system over the course of a campaign altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rivera also knows how to best utilize Newton, and the 31-year-old possibly could make Washington’s weak offense a bit more dynamic.
Washington, of course, doesn’t need to go all in on Newton, but bringing him in to compete for the starting job in training camp might be worth it.