In an extremely surprising move, the Patriots cut Cam Newton on Tuesday. While that paves the way for rookie Mac Jones to take the reins in New England, it also completely changes the backup quarterback landscape.
The Bears have reportedly been open to trading third-string quarterback Nick Foles. In a fiery press conference earlier this summer Foles maintained he’s a better QB now than when he won Super Bowl MVP. While that level of hyperbole is debatable, he’s certainly shown throughout the preseason that he’s better than a QB3 and is deserving of a better opportunity to see the field elsewhere. But now that Newton will hit the open market, the trade market for Foles will likely take a hit.
There aren’t many teams who may be realistically interested in a veteran backup like Foles or Newton. The Panthers cut Will Grier to go with P.J. Walker behind Sam Darnold. But Walker is still a project player as an XFL crossover who threw five interceptions on only 56 attempts last year. But the Panthers must certainly be more interested in a Newton reunion than trading away draft capital for Foles, right?
The quarterback room in Houston is in turmoil as the Texans deal with both legal problems and trade offers for Deshaun Watson. Tyrod Taylor and Davis Mills are in place now, but you could argue both Foles and Newton would improve that position group. Carson Wentz just returned to practice in Indianapolis, but they were left thin at QB when both he and Sam Ehlinger were out of commission at the same time. If Wentz has another setback, and with Ehlinger out for over a month, you can be sure the Colts will be on the market for a reliable quarterback. Then there are the Jets. New York is locked into their rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson, starting, but behind him there isn’t much experience. They might want a veteran in that room to show Wilson the ropes.
Any trade involving Foles probably would’ve taken some time to come to fruition. But now that Newton is on the market, any team considering bringing in a backup will take a long look at the new free agent QB, slowing the process down even more.