Cam Newton’s only hope is that the Patriots are waiting for him to pass a physical

Cam Newton’s only hope is that the Patriots are waiting for him to pass a physical

Cam Newton’s offseason has been rough. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, he has been unable to find a job. To add insult to (a foot) injury, Newton watched while the Dallas Cowboys signed Andy Dalton.

Dalton has a home in Dallas. Jameis Winston will sit behind Drew Brees for at least one year. Nick Foles has a home in Chicago. Teddy Bridgewater took Newton’s home in Carolina.

It’s hard not to imagine NFL teams are afraid to sign him — or even begin negotiations with him — when they can’t bring him into the facility where a team doctor will evaluate Newton.

Why is that so important? Well, Newton’s injuries have piled up over the last few years: a foot injury in 2019, a shoulder injury (which required surgery) and a knee strain in 2018, a rotator cuff injury and concussion in 2016, a back and rib fracture in 2014 to go with an ankle injury. He looked limited in recent action for the Panthers, who elected to release Newton in favor of Bridgewater, who signed a deal with the team this offseason.

Newton’s 2019 season was a bit of a mess. Before ending his season on injured reserve, he played two games while completing 56.2% of his passes for 572 yards and an interception with five carries for negative two yards. Apparently, it was ugly enough — when combined with this rash of injuries — to deter teams entirely. Money probably isn’t an issue. These veteran quarterbacks aren’t getting good deals. That must have dawned on Newton, who has zero leverage to ask for a big deal. He’s probably just looking for the right deal.

There are just a few destinations left over for Newton. The New England Patriots are the best landing spot for him. We’ve been hammering this point for quite some time. Of course, Bill Belichick has shown zero interest in Newton, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. But there’s always an outside chance that New England is awaiting the opportunity for a physical when the coronavirus pandemic allows it. That should be what Newton is hoping for. Certainly, he would be a nice fit for New England, which seems to have offensive pieces in place to highlight some of Newton’s strengths.

If the Patriots don’t come through — and, let’s be real, it’s unlikely that they do — Newton will have to do what Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton have done. They accepted backup jobs and unimpressive contracts for the sake of staying employed. Newton could go to the Raiders, Bears or the Jaguars, where he might compete for a starting job. But it’s hard to image that working out for him. Las Vegas and Chicago seem to (foolishly) like their quarterback competitions. For the Bears, it’s Nick Foles vs. Mitchell Trubisky. For the Raiders, it’s Derek Carr vs. Marcus Mariota. Jacksonville is, well, Jacksonville. It’s still a sad franchise where players hate playing. It seems players hate playing in New England (see: Tom Brady, Gronk), but they at least win some games and make some money after bearing Belichick.

That’s what Newton has to hope he’ll get the opportunity to do. Otherwise, he’ll have to resign himself to serving as a backup for the Buffalo Bills, or something to that effect.

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