Cam Newton is being released in a terrible divorce as Matt Rhule cleans house. The Carolina Panthers look in disarray, as they have lost most of their defense this offseason. Luke Kuechly retired, James Bradberry, Gerald McCoy, Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin and Dontari Poe all left in Free Agency. The team lost tight end and Captain Greg Olson and 5x Pro Bowl Guard, Trai Turner, and now Cam Newton is being released.
The Panthers really mis-handled Cam as well. While wanting to move on because of Cam’s health is understandable, the way in which they did so really hurt Cam and his market. First, they tried to find a trade partner without any biters. Then they spun a story to make it look like Cam wanted out of the Panthers organization by granting him permission to seek a trade. He never wanted out and was forced to search for a trade. Read Cam’s tweet below👇
Finally, a week after the free agency period began, the Panthers announced that Cam Newton would be released. The timing of this was very questionable considering every team had signed their free agent quarterbacks already. Had Cam been released prior to the start of free agency, he could have demanded a contract of $20 million-a-year or more. Now, his market looks very slim and he would be lucky to be offered a contract of $10 million-a-year.
There are a few teams that could have interest in Cam Newtons services as a free agent, but still, his choices are slim. The Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Chargers could all be in play. No other team really gives him the opportunity at being a starter or has the cap space to bring in another quarterback. The Miami Dolphins have 2 signal callers under contract, but they are likely to draft one early. The Chicago Bears already have a massive contract with Nick Foles. Lastly, the Denver Broncos and Washington Redskins have a young quarterback who need playing time to develop, so Cam doesn’t really fit in.
Cam has a few different scenarios at his disposal. He could sign right now to a short team deal for a team he could start with. This gives him an opportunity to raise his stock as he hits free agency next year. He could take a role as a back up, but Cam is not a backup quarterback and he wouldn’t get the playing time he needs to raise his stock. The best case scenario I see for Cam is wait until the season starts. There is a bit of a gamble here though.
Every season, it seems like a quarterback significantly becomes injured. Broken Collarbones, torn ACL’s, broken fingers etc… Drew Brees broke his finger and this gave Teddy Bridgewater a few weeks to shine. Same with Nick Foles which gave rise to Minshew Mania! The difference is these players were backups and had time to study the playbook. Cam could wait until a team needs a quarterback, but would come in cold, without training camp but it would give him additional options.
Cam to the Chargers does make a lot of sense for the Chargers organization. For one, Cams market isn’t exceptionally large right now, so his contract would be heavy in incentives. it would be AFFORDABLE. Anthony Lynn likes mobility at quarterback and that’s where Cam made his name. Cam also has never had the athletes at the skill position groups that the Chargers currently do. As long as his injury is healed, Cam should fit right it.
He also has a rather large chip on his shoulder. Gotta believe that he has a lot to play for right now. Not only is he playing for his next pay day, but he is really going to want to make the Panthers pay for releasing him. Granted, the Panthers aren’t even in the same conference, so there is no rivalry game upcoming, but the way he was mishandled after playing 9 seasons for the same organization has to make him hungry. I mean he was the Rookie of the Year and an NFL MVP. He led that team to a Super Bowl and they shrugged him off like he was nobody.
It would be fun to see Cam in a powder blue jersey, if you can get past his flamboyant outfits during press conferences. He is still one of the most dynamic players at his position. Imagine the RPO utilizing Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the backfield with Keenan Allen in the Slot. Think of all the success Greg Olson had and how that would transition to Hunter Henry. Even Kelvin Benjamin had success with Cam and he was a very similar threat to what Mike Williams is currently. Cam would be that big name quarterback to help sell tickets at Sofi stadium.
Lastly, this could allow the Chargers to pass on quarterback early in the draft, and allow them to take the best player available. Bringing Cam to Los Angeles could mean Isaiah Simmons being the pick at #6 overall. Right now, it seems like the team would need to give up draft capital to get Tua Tagovailoa, or drafting Justin Herbert/Jordan Love entirely too early. The Cam Newton to Los Angeles talk gives the team flexibility in the draft without having to force their hand.
Personally, I could go either way with Cam Newton or drafting a quarterback early, but both scenarios are intriguing for sure! The Chargers are going to need their draft picks to fill out their roster, so Cam to LA does make a lot of sense. I for one am excited to see how the rest of this offseason plays out.