ESPN insider Adam Schefter’s free agency prediction for Cam Newton probably isn’t what you expected.
A report leading up to Sunday’s regular season finale indicated that the New England Patriots, while making it clear that they valued their relationship with him, plan to move on from quarterback Cam Newton once the offseason rolls around.
It’s worth noting that a conflicting rumor asserted that the Patriots haven’t completely shut the door on re-signing Newton, but you have to think they’ll consider all alternatives at their disposal before they entertain the thought of bringing him back.
Barring a drastic turn of events, the three-time Pro Bowler will once again become a free agent. Given his well-documented struggles this season, it remains to be seen if he’ll be signed as a backup or starter.
However, while appearing on WEEI Radio this week, ESPN insider Adam Schefter shockingly predicted that Newton will end up in Washington on a two-year contract worth between $40-50 million (!) after you account for incentives.
While we fully expect Washington to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason, we presumed they’d pursue a gunslinger that can push the ball downfield. As awe-inspiring as veteran Alex Smith’s comeback story was this year, his limitations in that department, coupled with his inability to maneuver around pressure, really hindered Washington’s ceiling.
Though Newton is still incredibly mobile at 31 years old, he either lost an impossible amount of arm strength in a one-year span or his shoulder wasn’t fully recovered from surgery. We like to think it was the latter. But unless he can prove that he can throw accurately beyond 15 yards, we don’t see how a playoff-caliber team willingly signs him to start under center next year .. especially for that much money.
The answer is nothing. For the season, Newton ranked 34th among qualified quarterbacks in both passing yards per game (177.1) and passing touchdowns (10), 28th in passer rating (82.9), 24th in first downs (133) and 21st in yards per attempt (7.1).
We love Washington’s building blocks on offense, and because of that we simply can’t wrap our minds around why they would take such a potentially massive gamble and sign Newton when he’s shown numerous times this season that he might need some time off before he’s ready to be a starter again.