Report: Cam Newton Won't Sign as Backup, Would Wait for Starter to Get Injured

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2020

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Brian Blanco/Associated Press

Cam Newton remains a free agent, but the veteran quarterback doesn't intend to sign with a team as a backup, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.

If needed, the 30-year-old can wait until an injury to a starter requires a team to look for a high-level replacement.

The former Carolina Panthers star missed all but two games last season because of a foot injury and has also recently dealt with shoulder problems. With coronavirus pandemic-related travel restrictions preventing in-person visits, the questions have hurt his market in free agency.

According to Person, Newton plans to wait until he can get examined and cleared by team doctors before he signs.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Newton passed a physical in Atlanta in March, with both his foot and shoulder "checking out well."

It seems teams would still prefer to get an up-close look at the veteran before offering him a deal.

His patience also comes in contrast with other experienced quarterbacks signing to be backups in 2020. Jameis Winston signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints but will sit behind Drew Brees, while Andy Dalton will be the No. 2 for the Dallas Cowboys behind Dak Prescott after agreeing to a one-year contract.

Newton is more accomplished than either quarterback, winning an MVP award in 2015 while leading the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He's proved to be one of the most dangerous players in the NFL when healthy, totaling at least 3,000 passing yards and 350 rushing yards in each season from 2011-18.

Even with few teams seeking a starting quarterback at this stage of the offseason, opportunities could open up down the line.