Tough sledding for Cam Newton on the free agent quarterback hill. Less than 72 hours after ESPN writer Jeremy Fowler reported the Seattle Seahawks would be open to signing the former MVP to back up Russell Wilson, it looks like they're going in a different. A decidedly less-talented direction.
Yes, the incomparable Geno Smith is being signed before Newton this offseason. Get the oven mitts ready, because the hot takes are incoming.
I've already advocated for Newton to accept a role as a backup quarterback and try to rebuild his reputation both on and off the field in 2020, but it appears he can't even get that opportunity. When you think about it, there's a method to this madness.
Because of the uncertainty surrounding when/if NFL teams will actually be able to practice together, signing a player who knows the system and has some chemistry with the players over a guy who is 10-times more talented but lacks that insider advantage makes sense. Smith is better-suited right now to step under center in the Seahawks offense in a worst-case scenario. That doesn't mean he's the better quarterback. It means he's more prepared at this moment.
The same is true around the league. The Bucs re-signed Blaine Gabbert to back up Tom Brady, the Patriots are rolling with their two backups to Brady from last year and many other teams are sticking with the same backups from 2019.
Newton is clearly one of the 32 best quarterbacks in the world, but without being able to medically- his shoulder and without having the ability to work face-to-face with coaches and players on a daily basis, it's going to be hard for him to get a job right now.
When/if the NFL resumes on-field practices and players can come in for physicals, Newton should get his chance to prove he deserves a roster spot. It just might take an injury for that to happen because the backup jobs are becoming less available by the day.