On Wednesday, word came out that even though the San Francisco 49ers gave Jimmy Garoppolo permission to officially seek a trade, the Cleveland Browns will not be expected to pursue him.
This came as somewhat of a surprise, given that most expect Deshaun Watson to be suspended at some point and that the Browns have a roster that is capable of winning now.
If Cleveland will not try to acquire Garoppolo, either now or a little later, its options as far as a reliable quarterback to fill in for Watson are slim.
Some wonder if the team may look into Cam Newton as another option.
— Jordan 🏈 (@jasrifootball) July 20, 2022
Some may snicker at the thought of Newton coming to The Land, but if Garoppolo is off the table, he may be the best of the few options remaining.
Newton Has Fallen From Grace
Not too long ago, Newton was considered one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL.
He was the top pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and as a rookie, he put up 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns plus 706 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns while earning Pro Bowl honors and the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
In 2015, Newton seemed to be peaking, as he won the league MVP award after posting 3,837 passing yards and 35 touchdowns as well as a 99.4 passer rating, while also contributing 636 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
Although his Carolina Panthers lacked any top-flight wide receivers, Newton led them to a 15-1 record and an appearance in Super Bowl 50, where they lost to the Denver Broncos in Payton Manning’s swan song.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 5YRS AGO
Cam Newton to Philly Brown pic.twitter.com/C51dA237g3
— Jay Tisdale (@JayTisdale5) January 24, 2021
But since then, his production has declined, as he has struggled with multiple injuries.
In 2019, Newton played in only two contests due to a Lisfranc fracture, and his value around the league was a far cry from what it had been just a couple of years prior.
He joined the New England Patriots for the 2020 season as the successor to Tom Brady, but he threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8), although he did rush for 592 yards and a dozen touchdowns.
The Patriots missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record, and after losing the starting QB spot to Mac Jones last season, Newton was released just before Week 1.
The Panthers picked him up in November, but Newton clearly wasn’t who he was during his first stint there, throwing only four touchdown passes versus five interceptions in eight contests.
The Browns Need Someone Reliable To Fill In For Watson
If Cleveland is to make the playoffs and take the first step towards respectability with the roster its front office has put together, it needs someone under center who will be solid and won’t make too many mistakes.
Unfortunately, at this point, Newton doesn’t seem to fit that description.
Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt the Browns to look into him and possibly even bring him in for a workout, but if he were to join the team, fans shouldn’t expect too much from him.
Newton is simply too turnover-prone, and although he’s still a strong threat to move the chains with his legs, when he has to throw the football, good things don’t happen often enough.
At age 33, Newton’s best years are clearly behind him.