Cam Newton is coming off a very average season with the New England Patriots. He showed flashes of his old self, but he also showed flashes of just being old. So then why is everyone linking Newton to the Washington Football Team?
Well, for starters, Washington is coached by Ron Rivera, who coached Newton when they were both with the Carolina Panthers. ESPN blowhard Max Kellerman has also predicted that Rivera and Newton will be back together again.
“I think Cam Newton will be available, and Ron Rivera will come calling,” Kellerman said on First Take on Tuesday. “I don’t think [Taylor] Heinicke is the starter.”
Heinecke did a decent job of filling in for Alex Smith, the NFL’s unofficial comeback QB of the year. But Smith’s status is very much in doubt, given his age (36) and injury history.
Newton, 31, had some great seasons with the Panthers under Rivera, but he is now almost a decade removed from winning the NFL MVP. Rivera is certainly aware of the so-so season Newton just had, and it’s doubtful any team would want to entirely hitch their wagon to that sort of inconsistency.
Even so, Kellerman wasn’t the only one to link Newton to Washington. Pro Football Focus also predicted that Newton will wind up in Washington next, and ESPN insider Adam Schefter called Washington the “most natural landing spot” for Newton.
But that’s a lot of speculation with little meat. If Washington truly wants to improve after a 7-9 finish and a first-round playoff exit, Newton likely isn’t the answer.