But Cam Newton, one of the last notable quarterbacks besides Winston to remain unsigned, still has no clear path to a new job.
With the draft in the books and several teams opting to go younger at the QB position, here’s a look at 10 teams that either once looked like candidates to add Newton or could still be in the mix for the longtime Carolina Panthers star:
Forget about it
Buffalo Bills: The old Carolina connections could’ve drawn Newton to serve as Josh Allen’s big-bodied insurance, but with Matt Barkley and now Jake Fromm — a younger, cheaper Matt Barkley — in tow, there’s not a lot of room.
Chicago Bears: As soon as the Bears traded for Nick Foles, they bowed out of the Newton sweepstakes, even if his style would’ve been an intriguing add for Matt Nagy. (Chicago, by the way, probably made the right choice.)
Washington Redskins: Newton would’ve been their kind of move, not only because they have a penchant for adding veterans and might be iffy on Dwayne Haskins but because Ron Rivera and some of Newton’s most familiar supporters reside on their staff. Still, Rivera put the nail in the coffin when he traded for Kyle Allen, apparently his newly preferred Panthers QB.
Dallas Cowboys: From a brand standpoint, this feels like a perfect match: Cam’s charisma and playmaking resume would surely be tempting to Jerry Jones, even if more for marketing than on-field chemistry. Dak Prescott also lacks a proven backup. The only issue: Adding Cam at any point before Dak strikes a long-term deal would not go over well in Prescott’s camp.
Denver Broncos: Jeff Driskel landed a two-year deal to back up Drew Lock this offseason, but Newton is obviously the more accomplished veteran. Still, John Elway is probably OK riding out 2020 with what he’s got after giving Lock all kinds of new toys. Joe Flacco gave him enough of a taste of a big, aging and injured signal-caller in 2019.
Jacksonville Jaguars: They traded Foles and only added Jake Luton in the sixth round, ensuring Gardner Minshew will get his shot to be QB1. With Joshua Dobbs still around as the backup, it’s just hard to see them bothering with Newton, whose celebrity would invite calls to bench Minshew — and mirror the spotlight of guys they’ve shipped out or tried to (i.e. Jalen Ramsey, Yannick Ngakoue).
New England Patriots: They could’ve easily signed him by now, even as camp competition, if they wanted to. Maybe they’ll change their mind in the summer, but at this point, calling up the Colts to bring back Jacoby Brissett probably makes more sense. All signs indicate the Pats simply aren’t interested, either because of his health, his personality or something else.
Arizona Cardinals: They’ve built around Kyler Murray, but now they need better Murray insurance. Ownership hasn’t been afraid to get bold for big-name additions this offseason (see: Hopkins, DeAndre), and Newton shouldn’t command much money at this point. He’s a clear upgrade on Brett Hundley, and Kliff Kingsbury would surely have no issue adapting the offense for such a notable No. 2.
Los Angeles Chargers: This has long made the most sense, and while L.A. drafting Justin Herbert sixth overall signals they wouldn’t need Cam for more than a year or two, well, no one wants Cam for more than a year or two right now. Anthony Lynn is familiar with Tyrod Taylor, so this could even be a situation where Newton backs up Taylor while Herbert sits and develops. Either way, with their roster, the Chargers should be wanting to compete immediately, and he’d give them juice.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson has no confirmed backup for 2020, and the undrafted guys Seattle has brought in don’t figure to be it. The Seahawks haven’t been averse to a big name potentially sitting behind Wilson, once considering Colin Kaepernick for the No. 2 job, they have plenty of cap space to make something work, and Newton brings a similar dual-threat style.