Patriots

Patriots

Cam Newton surprisingly remains unsigned on the NFL's free agent market.

The 2015 league MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers in March, and despite several teams entering free agency in need of a quarterback, Newton still hasn't found a home.

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One concern teams might have about Newton is his durability. He missed the last 14 games of the 2019 season because of a foot injury. Newton also has taken plenty of hits throughout his nine-year career as a quarterback who's not afraid to escape the pocket and use his legs to make plays in the open field. He's among the best dual-threat QBs of his generation. The counter-argument to the durability concern is that before last season Newton had missed just five games in his first eight seasons with the Panthers. 

It's also difficult for teams to do physicals with players at this time due to COVID-19.

Still, there's no question Newton remains a starting-caliber quarterback at age 31. In 2018 he completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, in addition to 488 rushing yards and another four touchdowns.

So, which teams could be in the mix for Newton? Oddsmakers still like the New England Patriots as the betting favorites to land the veteran quarterback. Here are the latest betting lines from DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Patriots make some sense for Newton on paper.

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The only two quarterbacks on New England's depth chart, aside from undrafted free agents, are Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Stidham has shown a lot of potential in the limited preseason and regular season reps he got as a rookie, but he's still very much an unknown. Hoyer, meanwhile, is best suited as a backup. The Patriots aren't making the playoffs if Hoyer has to start the majority of next season's games.

Perhaps the main obstacle in signing Newton is the limited salary cap space the Patriots have at their disposal. Unless Newton is willing to accept an inexpensive contract, it's hard to imagine the Patriots being in the mix to sign him with just a little bit more than $1 million in cap space (as of this writing). 

The Patriots are unlikely to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders in 2020 with or without Newton, so the best option for New England probably is to just roll with Stidham and find out if he can be a quality NFL starter.