Cam Newton remains a member of the Carolina Panthers, but that hasn't stopped football prognosticators from playing matchmaker.
A new destination for the quarterback, placed on injured reserve last week, was one of Colin Cowherd's topics on Thursday's edition of The Herd. Cowherd listed seven teams in urgent need at the quarterback spot, teams that could invite Newton in if he parts ways with the Panthers.
Cowherd first declares that the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins would pass (citing they would "start over" with a rookie, namely Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa). The Tennessee Titans would decline based on their sour experience with mobile quarterback Marcus Mariota, as would the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, teams where Cowherd believes Newton wouldn't fit either due to culture or front-office preference.
The remaining candidates are teams that Cowherd describes as "(having) the roster to win now" and "not taking chances on a college guy". His top candidates are the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers.
"The Chargers can't sell tickets. They've got no juice athletically at quarterback," Cowherd says. "Cam is juice. You can bring Cam into that locker room, and all the (Joey) Bosa's and the (Melvin) Ingram's and the Mevin Gordon's and the Derwin James would be totally into a mobile quarterback that adds juice and sells tickets in LA."
Los Angeles has indeed had major issues with attendance in their new surroundings. Opposing fans routinely outdraw the local Chargers, who have done little to prepare for life after current franchise quarterback Phillip Rivers. Set to turn 38 in December, Rivers leads the league in passing yards (2,816) but has posted his lowest passer rating (90.6) and highest interception rate (2.7 percent) since 2016. Tyrod Taylor and fifth-round rookie Easton Stick are the other quarterbacks on the current Los Angeles roster. They're set to move into a new stadium, one they'll share with the Los Angeles Rams, in Inglewood next season.
Cowherd also brings up the Bears, who have struggled with Mitchell Trubisky at the helm Trubisky was chosen with the second overall pick of the 2017 draft, and his struggles have marred a hopeful season for the defending NFC North champions.
"Win now, because Trubisky's a bust. I hate to say that, but he is," Cowherd says. "They can't afford another college kid that doesn't work. (General manager) Ryan Pace gets another college kid that doesn't work, Ryan Pace is never a GM again. Cam's not a bust."
Newton will enter his final year under contract with the Panthers in 2020. Carolina can save $19.1 million in cap space if they cut him prior to June 1.