Former NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton didn’t have many suitors this offseason before signing a one-year contract worth up to $7.5 million with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
However, ESPN Senior NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported on his podcast Monday that the Cleveland Browns did have some interest in the former Carolina Panthers star.
“The truth of the matter is, is that Cam Newton did not have any other offers from any other teams. There was nobody that was calling him and lighting up his phone trying to recruit him to a certain city,” Schefter said. “There was one other team that did have one conversation with him. It was very brief. It didn’t go very far, but the Cleveland Browns did speak to Cam Newton at one point in time, but those talks never really went anywhere.”
Patriots were the only team to make an offer to Cam Newton. But there as one other team that checked in with him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 29, 2020
Schefter said his colleague and friend Tim Hasselbeck texted him the following text message on June 23:
“I keep banging the Pats as a Cam possibility. [I’m] not saying it’s going to happen, but I would like that fit. If you know with certainty that aren’t interested at all, will you let me know?”
Schefter texted Hasselbeck back, saying, “Keep banging the drum.”
During Monday’s episode of “The Adam Schefter Podcast,” Schefter said Newton didn’t have a “viable” landing spot at this point in time other than the Patriots without taking a physical.
The NFL prohibited teams from hosting in-person physicals this offseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A left foot injury limited Newton to two games in 2019.
Newton also played most of 2018 with a shoulder injury.
The Panthers shut him down in the final two games of the 2018 season before he had surgery in January 2019.
Newton, 31, will compete for the New England’s starting quarterback position with second-year player Jarrett Stidham and journeyman quarterback Brian Hoyer.
“The Patriots get three quarterbacks for less than the price than some teams are paying their backup quarterbacks,” Schefter said.
The move makes sense for the Patriots considering the team lost six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
“The Patriots suddenly have quarterback depth at that spot and the match that many people saw coming actually came together on Sunday night with a one-year agreement that many people called, that no other teams really challenged other than the Cleveland Browns, making that exploratory telephone call,” Schefter said. “Now Cam Newton goes to New England where we look forward to the wardrobe that he’s going to unveil there, and it would be great if Bill Belichick and Cam Newton could just exchange wardrobes one Sunday for the fun of things. That would provide another moment of levity in this upcoming football season.”
It’s unclear when specifically the Browns’ front office had the phone call with Newton.
In March, the Browns signed veteran quarterback Case Keenum on a three-year, $18 million deal that includes $10 million guaranteed.
Keenum is expected to back up third-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, who currently has two years left on his rookie contract and a team option for the 2022 season.