Well, sir, there’s another big wrinkle to the already-rapidly-evolving quarterback market: another big name is definitely up for trade.
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 17, 2020
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” General manager Marty Hurney said after meeting with Newton and his reps. “Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”
The whole point for Newton to seek a trade, of course, is to find a team that is willing, right now, to sign him to a long-term deal, which the Panthers haven’t been willing to do. The problem? Turning 31 later this year, Newton has seen his production slide steadily since his MVP campaign five years ago. Even the added value of his rushing yards were down massively in 2018 from 2017, and that was before he missed almost all of 2019 with a foot injury (and he was already coming back from January 2019 shoulder surgery).
So the question now is how much is a trade partner willing to give up for Newton, while also having to commit to a substantial new contract? There is obvious talent still there, and maybe on a new club, Newton would be reinvigorated … assuming he’s healthy.
We’ve talked about Newton in the Bears context before, and there were fall rumors that he “would welcome” a trade to the Bears. Some feel like he’d be a great fit. The risks, of course, are obvious.
We’ll keep an eye on this story in any case, because wherever Newton winds up, it could obviously have a significant impact on how the Bears proceed.
It’s not hard to imagine that Newton – like many of the other available quarterbacks – will first want to hit up Bill Belichick and New England to see if they’re interested in him taking over for the now-departed Tom Brady.
UPDATE: See, the interconnectivity is starting right back up, with a Brady suitor possibly now also looking at Newton:
Team source on Cam Newton being thrown into the QB mix for the #Chargers, "makes it more interesting" at the very least.
— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 17, 2020
UPDATE 2: Newton took to social media to share his side, which suggests he feels like the Panthers are actually driving this decision:
Newton was scheduled to be a free agent after this coming season, so I tend to think what Newton is saying is that he didn’t want a trade … if he could get a new contract. The Panthers decided no, thus “forcing” Newton into this.