Cam Newton

Why Cam Newton is unlikely to join 49ers as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup

Why Cam Newton is unlikely to join 49ers as Jimmy Garoppolo's backup

It doesn't seem to make a difference who the free-agent quarterback is. There simply is no end to the rumors or suggestions that Jimmy Garoppolo could be replaced.

For years, pundits have argued that 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer Kirk Cousins over the incumbent, but that is all moot now that Cousins has signed a two-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings. Recently, there was no shortage of rumors that San Francisco was considering swapping Garoppolo out for Tom Brady, who has since signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Teddy Bridgewater was never suggested as a potential Garoppolo replacement, but he is now the starter for the Carolina Panthers after signing with them in free agency. The man -- and former MVP -- he is replacing, however, is currently without a team.

And thus begin the Cam Newton-to-49ers rumors.

Though numerous current and former 49ers have come out in support of Garoppolo, NFL Media's Bucky Brooks feels as though Newton would be a fit in San Francisco -- not necessarily as a Jimmy G replacement, or at least not right away.

"If I'm Cam Newton, and I can't go to the L.A. Chargers because they love Tyrod [Taylor], I go to San Francisco," Brooks said on KNBR's "The Mark Willard Show" on Thursday. "And the reason why Cam Newton in San Francisco would work is because I just believe that there may not be this great sense that Jimmy Garoppolo is the guy there.

"And let's just say that he may not be the guy, so you put Cam back there behind him, and Cam gets to learn from one of the best quarterback gurus that we've seen in the league. And maybe, just maybe, Kyle Shanahan is intrigued on having an explosive athlete running the stretch bootleg concept, putting the ball in the perimeter, throwing it out there."

Alright, where to begin?

First and foremost, none of the QBs rumored to be potential replacements for Garoppolo are verifiably superior. In fact, between Garoppolo, Cousins, Brady and Newton, Jimmy G threw for the most touchdowns, averaged the most yards per attempt and posted the best adjusted quarterback rating last season. He's also the youngest by at least a year-and-a-half, with Newton -- who turns 31 in May -- the next closest in age. Garoppolo turns 29 in November.

Then there's the financial aspect. Brooks seems to think the 49ers would be able to fit Newton into their salary-cap space.

"I'm just saying, from the Niners' standpoint, you would be able to get Cam at his cheapest," Brooks continued. "So if you think about a value proposition, just to bring him in, in case Jimmy Garoppolo gets hurt or falters, it would just be an interesting thing to think about if I'm the San Francisco 49ers, and I'm looking to add value and pop to my offense."

What Brooks is forgetting, however, is that a large portion of San Francisco's cap space has already been set aside in order to sign standout tight end George Kittle to a record-breaking contract extension, not to mention approximately $7 million that will be needed to sign the 49ers' 2020 draft class. 

[RELATED: Lynch promises 49ers will be ready for April's NFL draft]

Yes, Newton isn't exactly in a great negotiating position, but it's extremely hard to envision him signing somewhere on the cheap. He is unquestionably superior to Taylor, for instance, and the Chargers would seem like the likeliest destination for him. But even if Newton goes somewhere else, it's highly unlikely it will be for a salary that San Francisco could absorb without throwing a huge wrench into the construction of the rest of the roster.

From a talent standpoint, there's no doubt that Shanahan would love to have Newton on the 49ers, and while the team has confidence in Nick Mullens as Garoppolo's backup, he has never won a league MVP award. That said, Mullens comes significantly cheaper than Newton, and also won't create a circus through his presence at training camp. Newton surely would if he was there -- and rightfully so -- but unless he feels like taking the bare minimum, don't count on him coming to San Francisco.

What Warriors' Steph Curry, trainer mostly talk about during shutdown

What Warriors' Steph Curry, trainer mostly talk about during shutdown

Warriors superstar Steph Curry is a huge Carolina Panthers fan.

He attended the Super Bowl at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara when Carolina lost to the Denver Broncos in February 2016, and was interested in buying a minority stake in the team when it was for sale in 2018.

It's been a wild week for Curry's NFL squad, as the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to be their franchise quarterback and released 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton (who the franchise selected No. 1 overall in 2011).

But the two-time NBA MVP is solely focused on staying in shape and keeping his basketball skills sharp while the NBA season is suspended, right? He doesn't have the time or energy to keep up with everything Carolina is doing, right?

Very wrong.

“To be honest with you, we’ve talked more about the Carolina Panthers’ quarterback situation than we’ve talked about anything else,” Brandon Payne -- Curry's personal trainer -- told NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh this week. “We talked a little bit about workouts and what he can do, but it’s not a whole lot right now.”

Can't blame Curry whatsoever for this. There are more important things to think about right now than basketball.

Such as ... hosting an Instagram Q&A with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday to help spread the word about the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, one that had even Barack Obama participating in the session.

[RELATEDWhy Steph's security guard had to tackle fan in garage]

Steph is doing his part off the court, when the world needs him most. But through all of that, like most NFL fans, there's still time to talk about his favorite football team.

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Panthers to start Kyle Allen at QB, not Cam Newton, vs. 49ers in Week 8

Panthers to start Kyle Allen at QB, not Cam Newton, vs. 49ers in Week 8

The 6-0 49ers have had the NFL's easiest schedule to date, with their six opponents combining for an 11-28 record.

Among those six teams that have fallen on the sword of Kyle Shanahan's club, the 49ers have faced quarterbacks Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Mason Rudolph, Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff and Case Keenum. Of those six quarterbacks, only Mayfield and Goff have long-term futures in the NFL. Winston is on the fast track out of Tampa Bay, Dalton is on his last leg in Cincinnati, Rudolph is an unproven commodity and Keenum is ... well, Keenum.

The 49ers' opposing quarterback gauntlet won't get much tougher in Week 8 when the Carolina Panthers come to Levi's Stadium.

Cam Newton has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury. Kyle Allen has led the Panthers to four straight wins, and even though Newton has been on the mend, head coach Ron Rivera announced Monday that Allen will start Sunday against the Niners while Newton "works with the trainers."

The Texas A&M product has thrown for 901 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season, leading the Panthers to wins over the Texans, Jaguars, Buccaneers and Cardinals in that span. Allen has played well in Newton's absence, not turning the ball over and letting Carolina's run game, spearheaded by Christian McCaffrey, inflict damage on their opponents.

[RELATED: 49ers, Raiders stand pat in NFL power rankings]

The 49ers' defensive line has terrorized the opposition so far this season. Through six games, the 49ers are holding opponents to 10.7 points and 223.5 yards per game, and it's unlikely they'll allow McCaffrey to beat them. 

If the Panthers plan to leave the Bay Area with a win, it'll be up to Allen's right shoulder and his line's ability to keep Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner and Co. off his back. 

Easier said than done.