In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that the world is facing, many of us are still grasping for any and all sports news we can. With all other sports on hiatus, the NFL offseason has dominated the sporting news. On Tuesday, that continued when the Carolina Panthers officially released former number 1 overall pick, Cam Newton. Despite injury and performance issues since his 2015 MVP campaign, Newton is still an elite talent. If (big if) healthy, he is a top flight franchise QB, capable of taking a team to a championship.
Naturally there is a lot of speculation on where he could head. Certain teams make a lot of sense, but there haven’t been any reports linking him to those locations (New England and Jacksonville), while other locations have been discussed in trade talks prior to his release (Chicago and the LA Chargers). The Chargers have said that they pursued Tom Brady, but they plan on rolling with Tyrod Taylor. For my money, the Chargers are the most likely destination for where Newton will land.
-Anthony Lynn’s offense is perfectly suited for Cam Newton and his skill set,
-Los Angeles needs to sell tickets to their new stadium,
-Cam has an easy crossover into Hollywood
-Cam instantly makes the Chargers a wild card contender.
One of the other teams that have fallen into Cam Newton speculation is the Buffalo Bills. Listen, I get it. The pipeline of coaches, front office staff, and players that have gone from the Charlotte to Western New York has become comical. In addition, Newton could fit with Buffalo. He and Josh Allen have very similar styles and skill sets. Also, the Bills are complete right now. If something were to happen to Josh Allen, Matt Barkley is not capable of leading the team to a deep playoff run. A solid backup and mentor, yes, but if Allen’s season is over then so is the Bills. However, I will add a caveat that if something were to happen to Josh Allen (hopefully not) than the Bills could make a move for Cam Newton. Remember, this is the QB many had the Bills drafting in mock drafts in 2011 (Newton went first, and the Bills selected Marcel Dareus with the 3rd pick).
The reason the Bills won’t sign Cam Newton is simple, Josh Allen. Allen is the franchise QB. Teams don’t bring in another potential franchise QB while they already have one. On the rare times it happens, usually the incumbent is a veteran on his last legs (Rodgers/Favre, Young/Montana), not the other way around.
Teams in similar quarterback situations like the Jets and Browns aren’t being talked about. Why? Because they aren’t expected to be playoff contenders and they lack of that Carolina connection. The Bills should be in that same not-talked-about contention. Cam Newton isn’t coming to replace Josh Allen the same way he is not coming to replace Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield. If Allen had regressed around a talented team last year, like Mitchell Trubisky did last year, then I could see it. And yet still, the Bears, instead of bringing in a legit threat to Trubisky like Newton or Jameis Winston, elected to trade a 4th round pick for Nick Foles.
When you draft a quarterback in round 1 to be your franchise you do not sign another quarterback to threaten the starter. This has been time tested in the NFL and it isn’t going to be changing this offseason.