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NFL Free Agency: Will QB Cam Newton play in the 2021 NFL season

New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
New England Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles
Tayyib Abu
ANALYST

Will we see Cam Newton on the field in 2021

Bill Belichick shocked the NFL world last week as he cut Cam Newton. The former first-overall pick and MVP is now a free agent. Several teams have already been linked with Newton's signature, although nothing has materialized.

Cam Newton is an experienced quarterback with a lot to offer. He is by no means old, and he played at an acceptable level in 2020. Furthermore, Newton is a charismatic individual that fans believe in.

However, to be realistic, Cam Newton is now 32-years-old, the arm isn't what it was, and he is an injury concern. Those are the harsh realities about a man who made the Dab go viral. Newton isn't old; he could still have another 3-4 years in the NFL. Will he play in 2021? It's time to break it down.

Why we could see Cam Newton in 2021

Cam Newton is no longer a franchise quarterback. However, he is a worthy backup that can help a younger quarterback. Newton has enjoyed the highest of highs and experienced the lowest of lows. His rookie year and MVP campaign sit alongside injury-ridden seasons.

That experience provides Cam Newton with a wealth of knowledge to impart to a younger quarterback. Newton must embrace and accept that role if he is to return to the league.

Newton's contract is relatively inexpensive. He was due to earn $3.6 million as a member of the Patriotsβ€”$ 3.5 million was guaranteed. The rest of the money would come in bonuses. Therefore Newton is a reasonably cheap, highly experienced quarterback with tons of wisdom. Second-string quarterbacks are vital to NFL teams. A viable insurance policy is much better than relying on Sean Mannion.

The Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are all teams that could use a backup quarterback like Cam Newton. A possible reunion with Ron Rivera in Washington could also be a viable option.

Why Cam Newton won't play in 2021

Cam Newton is a maverick that doesn't conform to the rules. It would be tolerable for head coaches if Newton were still an MVP-caliber talent. He is not an MVP-level player anymore.

The most recent example of Newton's lack of attention to rules was the breach of Covid regulations in the preseason. Things like that do not endear Newton to coaches and teammates. Even more so after the NFL published their 'draconian' COVID protocols for 2021.

Franchises also don't wish to draw attention or drama to the quarterback room. Add attitude and disciplinary concerns to his waning talent, and Cam Newton could be considered a problem, and an expensive one at that.

Imagine if the Eagles had signed Cam Newton. The next day's press briefings would be about Cam Newton vs. Jalen Hurts, even if people inside the building said, Newton's the backup.

Quite simply, Cam Newton's negatives could outweigh the positives. Franchises make calculated business decisions, and Cam Newton might be too much of a risk.

The bottom line

Cam Newton is a limited quarterback at this stage of his career that provides plenty of hassle and unnecessary drama. Franchises don't want that. That is why Cam Newton won't play in 2021. That is not to say that his career is over, but the quarterback market is pretty settled now. The offseason reset may be the best avenue for Newton to get back into the NFL.


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Edited by Henno van Deventer
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