Uncertainty abounds regarding where former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will be playing next season. However, Jacksonville Jaguars star Leonard Fournette is making the case for his own team to sign the 2015 NFL MVP, doing so most recently during an appearance on ESPN's First Take (via Twitter).
Fournette made a point to say he's not making any kind of commentary on Gardner Minshew, who looks to be the Jaguars starting QB after he usurped Nick Foles last season. Minshew — who was a sixth-round draft pick of Jacksonville in 2019 — played well when given the chance and Foles was traded to the Chicago Bears in March as a result, but Fournette would still like to see his squad sign Newton, who would then battle it out with the former in training camp.
"I feel like Cam went to the Super Bowl, he's a great guy; I've been on Cam for a minute now. There's no disrespect to [Gardner] Minshew. I'm just trying to get in the best position as a team so we can win. That's all that was about — just a friendly competition because that brings out the best in people."The Panthers had given Newton the chance to find a trade partner, but eventually released him when he was unable to do so. The 30-year-old QB later took shots at the organization for giving up on him. After his MVP season, Newton registered consecutive years where he performed well below what his team had come to expect from him, logging QB ratings under 81 and completion percentages under 60 during both campaigns. He performed better in 2018 but spent most of last season on injured reserve, and the Panthers have logged three losing seasons out of four since their Super Bowl loss in 2015.
Meanwhile, Minshew played in 14 games for the Jags as a rookie in 2019, throwing for 3,271 yards with 21 TD passes and just six interceptions for a QB rating of 91.2. Jacksonville had a 6-6 record in contests started by Minshew and winless in four tries with Foles at the helm.
Whether or not the Jags would actually consider signing Newton is unknown, but Fournette may have bigger things to worry about. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has reported via NFL.com that Jacksonville has been engaged in trade talks involving Fournette for more than a month. However, like the Panthers with Newton, they've struggled to find any takers for the running back, per Rappaport. For his part, Fournette is coming off a bounce-back year, rushing for a career-high 1,152 yards, while also logging career bests in yards per carry (4.5), receptions (76), and receiving yards (522).