NFL Rumors: Teams 'Know' Cam Newton Won't Sign Contract for Backup QB Role

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 4, 2022

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 19: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers drops back to throw a pass against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Quarterback Cam Newton is likely still a free agent because he wants to start.

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Newton "has gotten zero sniffs" leading up to the season, and it is likely because teams "know" he wants to be a starter and play regularly.

Newton, 33, is an 11-year NFL veteran who has spent 10 seasons with the Carolina Panthers and one with the New England Patriots in 2020.

He's a three-time Pro Bowler and won league MVP during his first-team All-Pro 2015 season when he led the Panthers to a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl berth.

Injuries have largely derailed him since then, as he has posted a losing record as a starter in five of the past six seasons.

After being limited to just two games in 2019, Newton was released by the Panthers, and he signed with the Patriots as the replacement for Tom Brady.

Newton went 7-8 as the starter in 2020, and he threw just eight touchdowns compared to 10 interceptions, though he did rush for 592 yards and 12 scores.

He was released prior to the 2021 season when the Pats decided to go with rookie first-round pick Mac Jones as the starter, and after initially going unsigned, he eventually returned to Carolina.

Starting five of the eight games he appeared in for the Panthers, Newton posted an 0-5 record and completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 684 yards, four touchdowns and five picks while rushing for 230 yards and five touchdowns.

His passing has taken a huge hit in recent years, but he still has value in short-yardage and red-zone situations, especially as a runner.

Also, his experience would seemingly make him a solid insurance policy as a backup, but Newton has only come off the bench four times in 148 career regular-season games, which may be why a backup role would be a tough sell for the 2011 No. 1 overall pick.

With the 2022 season set to start Thursday night when the Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills, there is no indication that Newton will have an NFL job, although that could change with one injury.