Cam Newton

SportsTalk Live: Were the Bears right to pass on Cam Newton for Nick Foles?

SportsTalk Live: Were the Bears right to pass on Cam Newton for Nick Foles?

Bears were connected to Cam Newton during NFL Free Agency and ultimately didn't make a move for the former Carolina Panthers quarterback. Instead, the Bears traded for former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

But with Cam Newton being released by the Panthers and available to sign for any team, did the Bears make a mistake by trading for Foles and passing on Newton?

"He's been hurt, he's been an average quarterback for the last four years," Chuck Garfien told the SportsTalk Live crew. "How anyone can even sign him right now considering he had foot surgery in December... you can't even see him get a physical.

"This guy is going to end up on a one-year deal somewhere, but it certainly shouldn't be the Bears."

Newton also didn't know the office the way Foles did, having been in Andy Reid's system with the Chiefs and Eagles, even working with Bears head coach Matt Nagy in Kansas City.

"You weren't going to roll the dice with a guy who is going to come in here and want to be the starter, but doesn't know the offense as well. Nick Foles was a better choice than Cam Newton," WGN Radio's Mark Carman said.

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Why the Bears were right to stay away from trading for Cam Newton

Why the Bears were right to stay away from trading for Cam Newton

Cam Newton was a great quarterback. Maybe he still can be a great quarterback. But that’s not a risk the Bears were in position to take. 

The Carolina Panthers tried to find a trade partner for Newton over the last week. They couldn’t. Now, he’s expected to be released on Tuesday, throwing the 2015 NFL MVP into the uncertain waters of free agency. 

A report surfaced last week that the Bears were in discussions with the Panthers for Newton. This week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Panthers offered Newton to the Bears.

But just because Newton was offered doesn’t mean the Bears were listening.

Why? Because not only are there serious questions about Newton’s health, but he’s been in decline ever since playing in the Super Bowl four years ago. 

Here’s a blind taste test of numbers:

QB A: 931/1,562 (59.6 percent), 10,778 yards, 6.9 yards/attempt, 65 TD, 44 INT, 82.6 passer rating, 335 rushing attempts, 1,599 yards, 4.8 yards/attempt

QB B: 811/1,280 (63.4 percent), 8,554 yards, 6.7 yards/attempt, 48 TD, 28 INT, 85.8 passer rating, 157 rushing attempts, 862 yards, 5.5 yards/attempt

QB A is also about four and a half years older than QB B. If you haven’t guessed by now: A is Newton (2016-2019), B is Mitch Trubisky (2017-2019). Who would you rather have? 

The Bears would’ve assumed incredible risk by trading for Newton and lining him up for a competition with Trubisky, too. The Bears’ medical staff wouldn’t have been able to conduct a physical on Newton for some time, possibly not before the NFL Draft in April.

So what if the Bears agreed to a trade for Newton last week only to find something in a medical check this summer that could negate the trade? Hello, 2020 Bears starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky. 

There's probably a reason Ron Rivera, now in Washington after spending years with Newton in Carolina, traded for Kyle Allen. Not Newton. 

Newton, hopefully, will get his chance to show he’s healthy and effective in 2020. But the Bears need better quarterback play in 2020, and they need as close to a guarantee of that as possible. Even in a scenario in which the Bears trade Trubisky, Newton isn't coming to Chicago. 

There could’ve been a big payoff for the Bears if they traded for Newton. More likely, though, was the possibility for an even bigger disappointment. 

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The Carolina Panthers "tried to send Cam Newton to the Bears," per report

The Carolina Panthers "tried to send Cam Newton to the Bears," per report

The Bears made their move at quarterback last week, but that doesn't mean they'll be left out of other quarterback rumors. 

This week's edition: Cam Newton. Again! The 2015 MVP will reportedly be released by the Panthers today, a last-resort option after Carolina couldn't find a trade suitor. They did their due diligence, though, and that reportedly included chatting with Ryan Pace: 

Clearly the two sides weren't able to find a deal, as the Bears are now rolling with Mitch Trubisky and then, eventually, Nick Foles. They weren't even willing to give Teddy Bridgewater the starting job, so it's not entirely surprising that they weren't going to give it to Newton, who is an even bigger question mark, either.

There's a not-totally-unreasonable scenario, though, where Newton gets healthy and returns to being a productive starter for another team, giving a *very* vocal section of the fanbase even more gasoline for the fire. Being a general manager sure sounds fun!

RELATED: Peter King: QB1 is still Trubisky's job to lose

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.