This week the Chicago Bears have been linked to just about every quarterback who is free and even some who aren’t, but one possibility seems to make the most sense.
The Carolina Panthers said on Tuesday they would allow Newton to seek a trade, then not long after that it was reported that the team had agreed to a three-year deal with Teddy Bridgewater. Then on Wednesday, CBS Sports reporter and former Panthers beat writer Jonathan Jones said the Bears and Panthers have been in contact about Newton.
That would be quite the interesting fit.
Bears, Cam Newton seem like a good match
Jones said the expectation is the Panthers would release Newton soon, but the Bears might trade for him to avoid the competition for Newton’s services if he’s a free agent. The Panthers will almost certainly have to cut Newton if they can’t trade him. It’s not feasible to have two quarterbacks on large deals taking up salary-cap space.
The Bears can’t realistically land a quarterback with a better track record than Newton. Newton was the 2015 NFL MVP. He has been to the Pro Bowl three times. He is one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks of all time and while the running part of his game might be diminished due to the punishment he’s taken over the years, Bears coach Matt Nagy could still use him in multiple ways.
The Bears are clearly hoping to upgrade from Mitchell Trubisky, and Newton would be an upgrade, even with some risks included.
Questions remain with Newton
Newton’s health and the restrictions everyone is dealing with as they relate to the coronavirus pandemic complicate matters. The Bears, or any other team hoping to land Newton, would want to see if the foot injury that limited him to just two games last season has healed. With NFL facilities closed, teams can’t have their doctors conduct physicals.
Even if Newton is healthy, there are other questions. He’ll be 31 next season, and while that’s not old for most quarterbacks, Newton has 934 career rushing attempts and has taken a lot of punishment. He’s not a typical 31-year-old quarterback. There are plenty of questions over whether he can still be the same dual-threat quarterback he has been.
There’s also a question over the Bears’ interest level in Newton. Adam Jahns of The Athletic said the Bears were not interested in Marcus Mariota, and he doesn’t figure they’re interested in Newton, instead focusing on Nick Foles or Andy Dalton.
But if the Bears want to land a better quarterback and try to replicate their magic from the 2018 season, when they won the NFC North, Newton is the best option. He has the highest upside. The risks are clear, too, but Chicago might be wise to gamble.
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