ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler: Seahawks signing Cam Newton would make sense
The market for free-agent quarterbacks looking for new teams hasn’t been the kindest this offseason, and that could actually lead to the Seahawks acquiring a high-end backup for Russell Wilson in 2020.
Perennial starters Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton both signed deals to be backups for the Saints and Cowboys, respectively, and many NFL insiders believe that former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will have to take a similar path, and some think that a year with the Seahawks may be the best for both Newton and Seattle.
Newton, 31, is a former No. 1 overall pick and was the NFL MVP in 2015, when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He appeared in just two games last season due to a serious foot injury and new Carolina head coach Matt Rhule and the organization agreed to part ways with Newton earlier this offseason.
ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore and talked about how and why Newton would be a fit for the Seahawks. First, it starts with whether or not Newton is comfortable with not starting.
“I still don’t know if Cam Newton would be willing to accept a backup job,” Fowler said. “I’ve heard some rumblings that maybe he would. I think he’s going to stay patient for a little bit to see what develops – maybe there’s an injury somewhere – but with no starter job open around the league, that’s really his best bet right now.”
The Seahawks have a lot of familiarity with Newton, as Seattle and Carolina seemed to meet once a year, often in the playoffs. Fowler says Newton makes a lot of sense for the Seahawks for a few reasons.
“One, I know some people there would certainly welcome him and love to have a guy like Cam Newton in their quarterback room,” he said. “Also, in that play-action offense, he would be perfectly tailored for that as an athletic quarterback. They could even have some fun if they wanted to get him involved in the offense in a different type of look.”
Wilson is an iron man, and has never missed a game and very rarely misses snaps, but Fowler pointed out that the Seahawks are one of a handful of teams who looks at and checks in on any available player in trades or free agency.
“They’ll consider anyone. So that’s why I think Cam is at least on their radar,” he said.
Currently, Wilson and 2020 undrafted rookie Anthony Gordon, who played at WSU, are the only quarterbacks on Seattle’s roster. The Seahawks have used an undrafted rookie as Wilson’s backup in the past with Trevone Boykin, but most of the time they opt for a veteran like Tavaris Jackson, Austin Davis, or, most recently, Geno Smith.
While those are veterans who were comfortable being backups, Newton is a former MVP and he may not be willing to handle that sort of role. Fowler says that’s likely impacting his market.
“I think that’s partly why he’s not signed yet and that’s partly why Andy Dalton is,” Fowler said. “When Andy Dalton got cut by the Bengals, not only was he well respected around the league, but you know he could be a backup and that’s a comfortable situation. Cam, in part because of his merit and what he’s accomplished in the league, he’s just not a backup quarterback, right? He’s a starter.”
But with every team seemingly set at quarterback after the draft and the first wave of free agency, Newton’s best bet may be to take a backup position for a team like the Seahawks.
“It’s one of those things where you could do a one-year deal and even if you don’t play a snap, your market could be more attractive a year from now then it is currently just by being on a good roster and being a good player behind the scenes,” Fowler said.
You can listen to the full interview with Fowler at this link or in the player below at the 26:13 mark.