The New England Patriots stunningly decided on Tuesday to part ways with Cam Newton. The move effectively pushes Newton into the open market less than two weeks before the 2021 season. On top of that, the three-time Pro Bowler has already seen playing for a familiar face ruled out as a possible landing spot.
Patriots part ways with Cam Newton
After the Patriots finished preseason action, head coach Bill Belichick remained uncommitted toward naming the team’s starting quarterback.
However, New England finally decided on the situation by electing to release Newton, effectively pushing rookie Mac Jones into the starting job. The three-time Pro Bowler rejoined the Patriots on a one-year deal worth $5.1 million with $3.5 million guaranteed.
Newton played sparingly in the preseason, while his recently COVID protocol dilemma didn’t work in his favor. Nonetheless, it places him in the open market where one NFL team is already ruled out as a landing spot.
Cam Newton’s next NFL landing spot won’t see him rejoin a familiar face
Newton‘s sudden availability before the 2021 season opens the door to extending his NFL career elsewhere.
It quickly shifts the dialogue to potential landing spots, including playing for a familiar face. However, JP Finlay of NBC Sports voiced on Tuesday morning that Ron Rivera and the Washington Football Team don’t hold any interest in bringing him aboard.
After Newton’s release from the Carolina Panthers, he immediately became linked to Washington due to his connection with Rivera. However, the team elected to move forward with Dwayne Haskins.
Rivera maintains a strong bond with Newton, but there hasn’t been a push to reunite. Washington is reportedly leaning toward Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter to begin the campaign. Fitzpatrick is heading into his first year with the franchise, but it isn’t his first go-around as a starting quarterback.
Since departing from the Buffalo Bills after the 2012 season, he’s started games for the Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins. The 38-year-old provides a steady hand for Washington to run the offense through, given his vast experience.
Fitzpatrick is coming off a topsy-turvy 2020 season with the Dolphins, starting seven games in nine appearances, posting 2,091 passing yards on a career-high 68.5% completion rate with 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Beyond that, Washington can effectively be scratched off the list again as a landing spot for Newton.
Other free agency options will emerge
Washington may be out of the picture, but other teams will undoubtedly express interest in bringing the three-time Pro Bowler aboard.
Newton may no longer be the player he once was, but he can provide much-needed depth at the quarterback position. It all primarily hinges on the 32-year-old accepting a backup role, as it will allow him to extend his career well beyond the 2021 season.
The Dallas Cowboys could quickly enter the picture due to their current quarterback situation. The Cowboys elected to move forward with only Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush on the 53-man active roster.
Meanwhile, there remain concerns with Prescott’s health as he’s expected to play in Week 1 action against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after missing the entire preseason due to a shoulder injury. Those elements leave the door open to adding Newton to the mix.
The former league MVP is still a highly effective factor in the running game, as he posted 592 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns, marking the third time in his career he’s posted double-digit rushing touchdowns. Ultimately, if Newton is willing to take a backup role, he will have several opportunities to extend his NFL career.