The Jacksonville Jaguars have a first overall draft selection in Trevor Lawrence. Should they pursue a former top pick in Cam Newton?
The New England Patriots have released Cam Newton, per Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. This paves the way for rookie quarterback Mac Jones to start. The former MVP signed with the Pats last season, starting 15 games and going 242-of-368 for 2657 yards with eight passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns. He’s now free to sign with any team he wants.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke positively of Newton before he was released, per Boston.com.
"Last year was totally different, so I feel like everybody’s way ahead of where they were last year.Certainly he started at a much higher point than what he did last year. So, definitely moving in the right direction."
Cam Newton isn’t the player he once was.
Back in 2015, Newton helped the Carolina Panthers get to the Super Bowl. That year, he completed 296 of 495 passes for 3,837 yards with 35 passing touchdowns and ten rushing touchdowns. However, he hasn’t been as productive since then, having dealt with a myriad of injuries.
The Auburn product sustained ligament and cartilage damage in a playoff game in January 2018. Although he didn’t undergo surgery to repair the damage and played through the injury, he ended up missing the last two games of the 2018 season. That wasn’t the only injury Newton suffered that year though. In Week 10, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt delivered a big hit on the quarterback’s shoulder. Before the hit, the Panthers were 6-2. After it, they were 1-7, so the case could be made it significantly affected Newton’s performance.
In 2019, he suffered a pedal Lisfranc sprain in the Week 3 of the preseason and appeared in just two games. Also, he suffered a shoulder injury in 2016 that he says affected him for years. More recently, he sustained a bone bruise on his right hand in this year’s organized team activities. However, injuries may not be the only reason to not kick the tires on Newton.
Newton missed practice due to a misunderstanding of the COVID-19 protocols and remains unvaccinated. He also tested positive last season and in a league where availability is the best ability, the Jaguars could be better off not pursuing him.
There may be better options than Cam Newton available.
The Jaguars have a starting quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and trading Gardner Minshew to the Philadelphia Eagles one day before their Week 3 preseason matchup pave the way for C.J. Beathard to be the primary backup. Sophomore Jake Luton may or may not make the team but Newton’s injury history and unvaccinated status make him an unappealing option.
If the Jags hadn’t felt comfortable with Beathard as the backup to Lawrence, they wouldn’t have sent Minshew to Philly. If they still want to upgrade their quarterback room, they could take a look at Will Grier or Ben DiNucci. Simply, bringing in Newton as the third quarterback may not make much sense.
A few years ago, Newton was one of the most electrifying players in the NFL and one of the most fun to watch. However, he’s no longer that player, and the Jaguars have a pretty solid quarterback room, so they should pass up the chance to sign him.