Cam Newton is now a free agent, with the Panthers choosing to release him and move forward with Teddy Bridgewater. Newton checked off a key box in his effort to secure a starting job elsewhere this week.
The former MVP took a physical on Monday in Atlanta and passed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding that Newton’s injured foot and shoulder “checked out well.” The Panthers and Newton’s agency co-coordinated the physical.
Newton passing a physical is certainly notable news as he gears up to land another gig. Teams are not, however, allowed to visit with players nor can their medical staffs examine free agents due to COVID-19. That may make the 30-year-old quarterback wait a bit. It was also reported a few weeks ago Newton is a few months away from being game-ready, so it will be interesting to see how he progresses and whether that progress will produce a near-future agreement for the accomplished quarterback to resume his career.
The longtime Panthers starter joins Jameis Winston as former No. 1 overall quarterbacks now in free agency. While the Chargers rebuffed Panthers overtures at a Newton trade, they are a logical suitor. Although the Bolts are not actively looking for a veteran passer, a franchise with perhaps the smallest known local fanbase in modern NFL history is set to move into a new stadium with Tyrod Taylor as its starting quarterback. The Bolts are also in the mix for a quarterback at No. 6, so Newton would likely have to be on board with being a bridge quarterback if a Los Angeles path opened.
New England may be posturing, but the early word points to the Patriots going with either Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer. The Jaguars traded Nick Foles but are apparently rolling with 2019 sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew. The Broncos have, likewise, committed to Drew Lock after years of bringing in veterans. The Panthers offered Newton to the Bears, but they then acquired Foles.
Where Newton lands will be one of the more interesting pieces left in this offseason’s quarterback puzzle. While he has accomplished far more than Winston, the latter has no injury history.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.