Cam Newton's potential list of suitors is dwindling.
The Chicago Bears removed themselves from the running when they traded for Nick Foles on Wednesday in a move ESPN's Adam Schefter reported, creating competition for incumbent starter Mitchell Trubisky.
And for a moment, the Los Angeles Chargers looked like a potential match. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported Wednesday that the Chargers "currently are debating whether to pursue Newton. A trade remains unlikely given the inability of team doctors to give him a physical. But the Chargers could pursue Newton, if/when he's released."
But the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport quickly threw cold water on that possibility:
The Chargers could also draft a young quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick, further removing the need for Newton.
So his options are running dry. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are already out, with reports that they'll sign Tom Brady. Carolina is reportedly replacing Newton with Teddy Bridgewater. The Indianapolis Colts are signing Philip Rivers. The Cincinnati Bengals will almost assuredly draft Joe Burrow. The Miami Dolphins will likely target Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert with the No. 5 overall pick.
With so many vacancies filled, the Panthers may have to release Newton, as trade packages may not be available. But a few teams would make sense.
New England Patriots
Unless Bill Belichick believes in Jarrett Stidham, the Patriots will have to address the quarterback position. Newton would give the team a veteran option with postseason experience, though the offense would have to undergo a serious philosophical shift with Newton under center.
Brady was the epitome of statuesque in the pocket, but he was highly accurate and delivered the ball quickly. Newton, on the other hand, remains an effective runner, especially at the goal line, and he's never protected the ball as effectively as Brady (few quarterbacks do).
It would be an adjustment for New England, but adding a player of Newton's pedigree would alleviate some of the anxiety Patriots fans are feeling with Brady gone.
Perhaps the Jaguars are transitioning to the Gardner Minshew II era. Perhaps they are hoping to draft a young quarterback. But if the Jaguars aren't fully in rebuilding mode—though they probably should be—Newton would make sense as a target.
Minshew was a great story in 2019, but his play was spotty. There was the good: In 14 games, he threw for 3,271 yards, 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. There was also the bad: He completed 60.6 percent of his passes, averaged a mediocre seven yards per completion, was sacked 33 times and lost seven fumbles.
The jury is still out on Minshew, which could make Newton an attractive option.
Does Washington believe in Dwayne Haskins? If the answer is yet, the team could draft a quarterback No. 2 overall or go the veteran route with Newton and draft stud defensive end Chase Young. If the answer is yes, then adding Newton doesn't make much sense.
And even if Haskins isn't the answer, they could look to trade him for draft capital and select Tagovailoa. So the smart play for Washington likely would be going another route at quarterback other than Newton.
But it is Washington we're talking about. When it comes to decision-making, "smart" hasn't exactly been the calling card of this front office in recent years.
Newton to the Broncos feels like a long shot, with reports emerging even when Brady was still on the market that the team was handing the reins to Drew Lock:
But the team could perhaps look to bring in Newton as backup insurance if Lock isn't up to the job this season. Granted, that would mean his being comfortable with the idea of potentially serving as a backup, a tough sell for a 30-year-old former MVP.
So of the teams listed, the Broncos make the least sense. It's also a reminder that Newton's market is likely small this offseason.