It's hard to believe, but Cam Newton is still without a team.
The 2015 NFL MVP remains a free agent after being released by the Carolina Panthers in March. When healthy, Newton is a very good starting quarterback, but he missed the last 14 games of the 2019 season due to a foot injury. The 31-year-old veteran would certainly upgrade any team's quarterback room, and there's been plenty of debate about whether the New England Patriots should bring him in.
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The Patriots lost Tom Brady in free agency and likely will turn to 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham as their next starting quarterback. One issue for the Patriots in regards to potentially signing Newton is they have very little salary cap space -- only about $1.13 million, per OverTheCap -- so he would have to take less money to come to New England unless the team freed up additional space.
There's also a question about whether Newton would be a good fit in New England. Former Patriots star Willie McGinest, who now works for NFL Network, went on FOX Sports 1 show "Speak For Yourself" earlier this week and explained why Newton and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick would work well together.
"I think Bill Belichick has handled so many different personalities that they would co-exist,” McGinest said. "It would be a great working relationship. I’m just telling you guys right now, there is a lot of respect from the Patriots organization when it comes to Cam Newton because they have played several times and Cam Newton has showed out and played at a high level every single time they’ve played. I haven't checked the numbers, but I think Cam Newton may have a winning record against the Patriots.”
The numbers back up McGinest's claim.
Newton is 2-0 against the Patriots. He's completed 72 percent of his passes for 525 yards with six touchdowns and one interception in those two games. He's also ran for 106 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries in his careeer versus the Pats.
McGinest also talked about the advice he would give Newton going forward in his career.
"When you look at Cam Newton, and the issues he's had, it's never been off the field. It's never really been on the field. It's been when he hasn't performed at a certain level and he's frustrated or upset with himself, or he didn't win football games. It was usually at the press conference, at the podium. We all know the quarterback position is at the podium and speaks to the media every single day. The one advice I would give to Cam is, look, you're polarizing, you're a superstar, you're an MVP. You led your team to the Super Bowl. You have to handle adversity the same way you handle winning football games. It's the toughest thing for an athlete to do. He understands that. Nobody likes losing. ... But when you address the media, you have to do it in a profession manner and you have to address things the same way you do as if you won the game. You don't have to like it, but you got to do it."
Rolling with Stidham probably is the best choice for the Patriots in 2020. At some point, they have to figure out if he can be a quality starting quarterback. But if the Patriots wanted to make a move for a veteran QB who could help them win games, Newton is by far the best choice among the available free agents.