The Cam Newton free agency watch begun early on Sunday afternoon as Ryan Fitzpatrick became the first starting QB in 2021 to exit a game after going down with a hip injury in the first half of the Washington Football Team's matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers. Newton is far and away the best QB readily available and announced to the world last week via his YouTube that he's simply waiting for his opportunity.
But Newton will be waiting a bit longer. While we don't yet know how much time Fitzpatrick will miss, the reports from Monday suggest he'll hit the IR and be out for at least three weeks. The WFT, with dreams of defending their divisional title, will have to find another answer in the meantime. Newton seems to be that answer, given his past relationship with head coach Ron Rivera and the simple math of WFT needing a quarterback and Newton being one. But Washington won't be giving Newton a call. Not yet, at least.
Why? Because Rivera and the Football Team have had three separate opportunities to bring Newton aboard. In March of 2020, Newton was a free agent for the first time in his career right as Rivera got his second head coaching job after both spent the better part of a decade with the Panthers. Newton went unsigned for months after the opening of free agency. Rivera and his new bosses decided to see what Dwayne Haskins had.
This past offseason, Newton was once again a free agent after a dismal year with the Patriots. WFT, again, decided to go a different direction and sign Fitzpatrick while Newton went back to New England. The former MVP was cut and Washington stuck to the guys they had. Now the latest out of FedEx Field (other than the fact that the plumbing is fixed) is that they'll stick with Taylor Heinicke and signed Kyle Shurmur to the practice squad as their sole quarterbacking addition.
If WFT hasn't signed Newton by now, they almost certainly will not at all if nothing else changes. They had numerous opportunities to at least look at Newton and they passed on each occasion. Rivera could have, at any point, voiced his support for the move. But he didn't.
If Heinicke gets hurt and suddenly WFT is down to their third-string signal-caller, maybe things change. Until then, though, the evidence is in our faces. Newton will probably end up playing a football game this year because injuries happen so often and there are plenty of teams with playoff aspirations this year. It just won't be for the Football Team.