The writing looks to be on the wall for Cam Newton in his brief tenure with the New England Patriots. The 2020 season was a struggle for Newton to work through to find any stable production. The conversation has quickly shifted over to his upcoming free agency, which one NFL team may become a natural fit as his next stop.
Cam Newton is nearing a departure from New England
When Cam Newton initially joined the Patriots, there was hope that he could put together a bounce-back campaign.
Following the first three weeks, things quickly unraveled as Newton struggled to find his footing passing the ball. His bout with COVID-19 did impact his experience early in the season, but following that, he couldn’t become a stable factor in the passing game.
Newton finished 24th with 2,657 passing yards, 33rd with passing touchdowns to 10 interceptions, 30th with a 47.4 quarterback rating, and an 82.9 passer rating. The 31-year-old failed to record a touchdown pass nine times while falling short of 200 passing yards 10 times, including fewer than 100 yards on four instances. His porous offensive production led the Patriots to miss the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
Newton did provide a strong presence in the running game with 592 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, which marked his second-highest career total. However, the writing looks to be on the wall for the three-time Pro Bowler as he finishes out his one-year deal in New England.
Cam Newton already has an obvious fit for his next NFL team
Although Bill Belichick and the Patriots are remaining publicly mum on the situation, the sense around the matter is that Cam Newton has played his last down with the franchise.
The chatter has quickly shifted over to possible landing spots for the 31-year-old in free agency. During an interview on The Greg Hill Show on Wednesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter voiced that he believes the Washington Football Team is the “most natural spot” for the former league MVP.
“The most natural spot for Cam [Newton] would be Washington if he’s going to leave New England,” said Adam Schefter.
The clear-cut connection there is his relationship with Ron Rivera, who is Newton’s former longtime head coach with the Carolina Panthers. Rivera still holds a strong bond with the quarterback that led to some chatter last offseason that the two could link up together in Washington.
The pertinent question in that scenario becomes how solidified is the team’s quarterback position. Alex Smith has grabbed ahold of the reins as the starter but hasn’t blown things away with his production. Washington did earn a playoff berth behind the NFC East division title and finished with a 5-1 record with Smith under center.
The 36-year-old is under contract through the 2022 season, but Washington can move on from him after this year as he holds only a $10.8 dead camp hit for 2021. There isn’t any clarity on that front, but if the team wanted to go that route, they can.
Other options may emerge
It’s quite early in the process, but Cam Newton could have a few other teams express interest in signing him.
The chance to be the clear-cut starter for another franchise may be out the window, but he’s a proven commodity in the league. In the interview on The Greg Hill Show, Adam Schefter did voice that he envisions Newton receiving a two-year deal worth around $40 to $50 with incentives.
There are other teams out there that may desire some stability at the quarterback position, likely behind their younger talent to provide a safety net. The coming months will be quite telling of what NFL teams think of Newton at this point in his career.