Since the Carolina Panthers decided to part ways with star quarterback Cam Newton after nine seasons, it put Newton on the open market for the first time in his career. He has remained available for the last several weeks as no team has expressed significant interest in his services this offseason. It has pushed Newton into unfamiliar territory in his career with their being no clear-cut direction on what lies next ahead of him before the 2020 campaign.
That has seemingly placed him down the path to a realization of what he may have to do to get another chance to re-establish himself as a bonafide star quarterback in the league.
Cam Newton’s rough departure from Carolina
Since being taken with the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Newton was a cornerstone piece for the Panthers.
He led the franchise to make success along the way while proving to be one of the game’s top talents at his position. That included four playoff appearances, a Super Bowl 50 berth, and won the 2015 NFL MVP award, among other notable accolades.
However, Newton’s career began to head south over the last couple of seasons as injuries have continued to pile up. He suffered a nagging shoulder injury in the 2018 season that forced him to miss the final two games of the regular season, and underwent shoulder surgery that ensuing offseason.
The injury bug continued to plague him in 2019 as he suffered a foot injury in Week 2 action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The initial hope was that he would return at some point during the season, but his ailment never improved that eventually required foot surgery.
The Panthers’ lack of success, combined with Newton’s continued health issues, guided the team down the path of moving on from the Pro Bowler. Carolina attempted to trade him, but couldn’t find a team willing to meet their asking price and would up cutting him in March.
Cam Newton knows the path he must take
In the weeks that have followed his release from the Panthers, Newton has remained on the open market.
There have been a couple of teams such as the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers express interest, but nothing serious enough to sign him to a deal. According to Ian Rapaport of The NFL Network, it has moved toward Newton now seriously considering taking a backup job in the right situation.
“He does want to be a starter, former MVP, he should be a starter but the reality is that there just aren’t any starting jobs available, so now — maybe a little bit of a shift in philosophy here — my understanding is that Cam Newton has not ruled out taking a backup job in the right situation. It remains to be seen where and when that will be, but obviously Newton is still unemployed and really only has two choices: take a potentially prime backup job right now or wait until another starter gets injured, which may or may not come.”
There are too many concerns involving his long-term health, as he has struggled to prove he can stay healthy through the duration of a season. What has also not helped his situation is the entire matter concerning the coronavirus that has left him a tight spot of having his NFL career out of his hands, and consider alternative routes such as taking up the role of being a backup.
Where will Cam Newton wind up?
At this point, there is no clarity about where Newton will wind up this offseason or if he will sign with another team before the start of the 2020 season.
With the Chargers seemingly out of the picture after taking Justin Herbert in the first round of this year’s draft, the New England Patriots have been tossed around a landing spot. However, there has been a building notion that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels isn’t too high on Newton. The team is also are committed to giving second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham a chance to provide himself as a starter.
It’s undoubtedly a difficult situation for Newton, but it’s one where he may ultimately have to wait for the right scenario to come to arise.