By Jalon Hill
2015 NFL Most Valuable Player. 2015 Offensive player of the year.NFL single season rushing touchdown leader as a quarterback.
Franchise leader in passing yards and touchdown. All these accolades describe one, Cam Newton but yet a quarterback of his caliber is yet to be signed onto an NFL roster.
On March 17, the Carolina Panthers announced that they had given the 31-year old quarterback permission to seek a trade. After no trade partners could be found, Newton was officially released just a week later. On June 2, 2015, Newton and the Panthers agreed on a five-year contract extension worth up to $103 million . The following season, Cam would lead the team to a franchise best,15-1 record and an appearance in Super Bowl 50.
This would seem like the peak of Newton’s success in Carolina as the years proceeding would be filled with injuries and missed playoff opportunities.
The 2019 season would be much the same as Cam would start the season but be held out on Week 3 due to a Lisfranc fracture. On November 5, Newton would be placed on injured reserve due to the slow progress of his recovery.
Changes would quickly be made with the team after the firing of then head coach Ron Rivera. Despite the hiring of new head coach Matt Rhule in the offseason,The hope from many Carolina fans was that Newton would be able to rectify any doubts in his game by playing out the final year of his contract.
During the free agency period,The Panthers announced their signing of 27-year old quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract. This signing would ultimately signal the end of the Newton era in Carolina. Teams like the Chicago Bears,Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, and the New England Patriots, all of whom are looking for a starting quarterback, were identified as possible locations for Newton at the start of free agency.
The Bears would sign Super Bowl hero Nick Foles. The Charger and Dolphins would use their draft picks for the future quarterbacks.Despite losing Tom Brady, Bill Belicheck and the Patriots are confident in second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
Consecutive injury-riddled seasons and an inconsistent pocket game has been the kryptonite to Superman’s chances of signing during the opening free agency period. Originally saying that he would only sign with a team as a starter, Newton has now opened up to the idea of being a backup.
The best available option for Newton would be to wait close to the start of the 2020 NFL season where injuries may play a factor in many teams’ quarterback depth chart. Only time will tell if any team will be interested in his service.