Well, no one saw this coming. After a back-and-forth quarterback battle with Mac Jones, Cam Newton has been released by the New England Patriots as they cut their roster down to 53 players on Tuesday. Newton seemed to be the favorite to win the starting job for most of the summer, but Bill Belichick and company emphatically announced Jones as the Week 1 starter with the surprising cut.
Newton is now a free agent, meaning he’ll be able to sign with any interested team ahead of the 2021 season. Here are the three teams that should be rushing to get Newton on the phone.
The Texans easily have the most confusing quarterback situation in the NFL entering the 2021 season. Deshaun Watson is unlikely to play another snap with the team considering his trade demand earlier this offseason and the messy legal issues still surrounding him.
So, the Texans are expected to go with veteran QB Tyrod Taylor to start the season. Taylor served as the starter of the Buffalo Bills for three consecutive seasons from 2015-2017, and he even made a Pro Bowl in his first year with the team. However, the duel-threat QB has only started four games in the last three seasons combined and has thrown just two touchdowns over that span.
Rookie Davis Mills is expected to serve as the backup to Taylor to start the season.
Newton makes perfect sense for the Texans in 2021. He’s clearly better than both Taylor and Mills, and it might be the only destination that would give him a chance to start early in the season. Houston won’t be fighting for a playoff spot this year, so the team might not find it necessary to bring in another 32-year-old QB. But Newton is better than any other option the Texans have on their current roster.
The Cowboys learned the hard way how important it is to have a competent backup quarterback on their roster every year. After Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending ankle injury last fall, Dallas went 4-7 to finish the year and missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
With Prescott banged up to start the 2021 slate, the Cowboys only have Cooper Rush behind him on the active roster. That won’t cut it if Prescott misses more time this year. Dallas needs to get Newton on the phone right away.
Newton obviously doesn’t want to be a backup at this point in his career, but he’s not exactly in a position to demand a starting job after getting released by the Patriots. And is there a better backup job right now than the one in Dallas? The Cowboys have an electric set of weapons on the outside and a newly healthy offensive line entering the season.
Newton could solve Jerry Jones’ biggest problem and possibly resurrect his career with the Cowboys.
Raise your hand if you think Carson Wentz will be able to play all 17 games this season. No one? Not one hand in the air?
Well, there you have it.
Wentz already underwent foot surgery this offseason, and he just landed on the COVID-19 list less than two weeks away from the season-opener. He’s simply not a trustworthy starter in the NFL, and rookie Sam Ehlinger is also dealing with a knee injury that will keep him off the field for at least five weeks.
The Colts need another insurance policy, and Newton can provide just that.