NFL Free-Agency Rumors 2020: Latest Buzz on Cam Newton, Trent Williams, More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2020

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) passes against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)
Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Although the frenzy of NFL free agency has slowed significantly, a few marquee names are still available.

Most recently, Cam Newton joined the open market after the Carolina Panthers mishandled the end of his tenure. Instead of receiving any players or draft compensation in a trade, they ended up releasing their longtime starter.

That decision has turned into a lose-lose situation, with Newton entering a thin quarterback market.

So far this offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers landed Tom Brady. Philip Rivers picked the Indianapolis Colts, and Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater. The Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles, while Case Keenum (Cleveland Browns), Marcus Mariota (Las Vegas Raiders) and Chase Daniel (Detroit Lions) signed as backups.

Since the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins are eyeing the NFL draft for a quarterback, only the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots may be looking for a starter.

Los Angeles, though, is sticking with Tyrod Taylor, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, and could also be focused on drafting a quarterback.

On the bright side, Newton is healthy. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the 30-year-old passed his recent physical.

Newton dealt with a shoulder injury late in 2018 and underwent surgery during the ensuing offseason. Last year, he missed 14 games because of a Lisfranc fracture in his left foot. Still, when healthy, he's easily a starting-caliber quarterback.

The problem is simply where can he sign.

Beyond the teams mentioned previously, Jeff Howe of The Athletic noted the Patriots do not appear to have interest in adding Newton. As of now, they probably can't afford him anyway. Ron Rivera told WFNZ that Washington has no interest in signing him, per Kyle Stackpole of the team's official site.

It's reasonable to suggest Newton will be patient in determining his football home for 2020.

As for All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams, a similar sentiment applies in a different way. ESPN's Dianna Russini reported "there is no salvageable relationship" between him and Washington. The issue is finding a trade partner for him.

ESPN's Josina Anderson previously noted Washington is seeking a second-round draft pick. She said the team believes the 31-year-old's contract demands are a complication, while his agent says the team has not negotiated "in good faith."

Williams missed all of 2019 but previously earned a Pro Bowl nod in seven consecutive seasons from 2012-18.

Assuming he's traded or released, a potential replacement for Williams is Jason Peters. The longtime Philadelphia Eagles left tackle will not return to the team in 2020. However, the smart route is not getting invested in that connection.

ESPN's John Keim reported Washington has talked to the 38-year-old, but it "doesn't seem like anything" is going to happen.

While the rumor mill has otherwise been quiet, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo previously said Peters is willing to play right tackle. That flexibility may prove valuable in future negotiations.

            

Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.

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