Former NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton is not ready to hang up the cleats just yet, as the soon-to-be 33-year-old is preparing for Year 12. Newton is drawing interest in free agency, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, but he’s being patient and looking at a couple of factors which will guide his decision.
“I have teams that are interested in signing me,” Newton texted Schefter. “I am waiting on the best fit as it pertains to winning a championship and getting a fair chance to play.”
The Carolina Panthers legend played in just eight games last year, as he was cut by the New England Patriots shortly before the start of the regular season before his old team came calling. In those eight games, Newton completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 684 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions, and also rushed for 230 yards and five touchdowns. Carolina lost all five games in which Newton started.
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While Newton is not the same player that guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, he was trying to operate behind an offensive line that finished as the second-worst unit in the league, per PFF. They allowed 13 sacks just from their guard spots.
As for the teams that may have had dialogue with Newton, it’s tough to tell. The Panthers are likely one, although they have been virtually forced to keep Sam Darnold on their roster due to his fifth-year option, and could use their No. 6 overall pick on a new quarterback such as Malik Willis from Liberty or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. However, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer said the door is still open.
“It’s not just us saying, ‘Hey, Cam, come on back,'” Fitterer said last week, via ESPN. “He’s got to want to come back. He’s got to like the role, the situation. It’s really just a fit for both of us.
“The door is open. I’d love to have someone with his leadership, his toughness. He brought so much to his team last year and stabilized us during a really hard time. He’s a really special person.”