Cam Newton’s next stop could be in New York.
The free agent quarterback is still looking for a new home after his release from the Carolina Panthers, and a new report says that the Jets could be an option as the team looks for a top-tier backup to third-year starter Sam Darnold. A report from NJ.com noted that some NFL insiders believe that Newton would only want to be a backup if the situation is right — which it could be in New York.
“The thought process all along is that Newton wants to be a starter,” noted the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “He does want to be a starter. A former MVP, he should be a starter. But the reality is there aren’t any starting jobs available, so now maybe a little bit of a shift in philosophy here.
Rapoport backed up the idea that Newton hasn’t ruled out the idea of serving as a backup if the situation was right.
That was a view shared by Alex Smith of SNY, who noted that the Jets still need to address their quarterback depth. The Jets ended the 2019 season at 7-9 due in large part to Darnold missing a series of games early while suffering from mono. The team got lackluster performances from backups Luke Falk and Trevor Siemian, who was also lost with an ankle injury, then went 6-2 to end the season after Darnold’s return.
Reports had previously claimed that Newton, just four years removed from a league MVP season and trip to the Super Bowl, is only interested in taking a starting job — even if that means waiting until after the season starts and a vacancy arises.
There could be more difficulty in Newton finding a team in the current climate, noted Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. As quoted by Yahoo Sports, Florio said that teams want to see firsthand whether Newton is fully recovered from the injury that cut short his 2019 season. Due to travel restrictions from the coronavirus outbreak, that has proven difficult, he noted.
“Newton isn’t healthy,” Florio wrote.
“Or, more accurately, teams interested in Newton aren’t able to determine, with the assistance of their own doctors, whether he’s healthy. And it’s not just the foot injury that derailed his 2019 season as it was beginning that needs to be checked out thoroughly. Last year, Cam’s rehab following shoulder surgery included the debut of a new throwing motion — after eight years in the NFL.”