Big names have been flying off the board during this NFL offseason and several star QBs have changed teams. But Cam Newton remains unsigned as he looks to come back from a shoulder injury and gain a starting role.
There are several teams in the mix for Newton’s services and the New England Patriots have drawn increased speculation since they notably declined to take a QB in the 2020 NFL Draft and likely aren’t thrilled about starting a green Jarrett Stidham or ancient Brian Hoyer.
With the rumor mill swirling, we’re breaking down the odds for Newton’s top suitors, as found at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The favorites to land Cam
New England Patriots (-190)
The Patriots were second behind the Jacksonville Jaguars with +400 odds deep into the draft, but things changed quickly on Sunday. Insider information must have leaked to cause a huge jump up to -170 at some books and -190 at FanDuel.
Could one of the most bombastic QBs in NFL history really co-exist with the most taciturn coach in recent history — Bill Belichick? Well, with Jameis Winston nabbed by the Saints, the Pats are likely looking for a talented signal-caller somewhere, and Belichick has handled big personalities in his locker room before (with varying results).
The Chargers had opened free agency with +210 odds to sign Newton and are now basically out of the running after drafting Justin Herbert at No. 6 overall. The Dolphins (once the favorites at +250) also unloaded an early pick at QB and now that Newton is dealing with limited options, he may be willing to take a restructured deal to earn a shot with the Patriots.
New England has limited cap space with $26M in dead money, $13.5M of which is for Tom Brady. The Pats actually have the second-lowest cap space in the NFL at $1.75M, but we’ve seen Belichick find loopholes in the system before. It’s possible the Pats work a sign-and-trade to create space or ask other players to restructure the contract to make room for Newton, who could potentially come aboard on a one-year deal for $5M or less.
On Monday, plugged-in beat writer Jeff Howe reported that the Patriots have no interest in signing Newton. So perhaps this huge shift in odds is due more to speculation than leaked plans from the franchise.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+300)
The Jaguars weren’t necessarily at the forefront of the Newton sweepstakes until they traded Nick Foles to Chicago. They started to gain momentum and their odds rose further when Leonard Fournette got on ESPN’s First Take and advocated for his team to go after Newton. When the Dolphins and Chargers both announced their intentions by drafting QBs, the attention shifted to Jacksonville.
But the question isn’t whether the Jags would want to sign a shaky passer with a bum shoulder instead of rolling with Gardner Minshew, it’s whether Newton would want to play for a franchise with a limited fan base and few prospects. In fact, the Jaguars have the worst odds to win the Super Bowl by far at +15000 at DraftKings Sportsbook. The Jags also took Jake Luton in the sixth round of the draft, indicating they may have gotten a lukewarm response from Newton’s agent. But if he follows the money, Newton will likely get the biggest payday from a Jags franchise that has $18.96M in cap space.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+750)
The Steelers were listed as true longshots with +4800 odds to land Newton when free agency opened in mid-March. But rumors have spread that Pittsburgh was interested in some insurance for 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger as he looks to bounce back from elbow surgery.
Newton’s health is also a question mark, but rostering two big and tough QBs with different skill sets would give Mike Tomlin some flexibility. Newton certainly fits the culture in Pittsburgh more than with the rival Pats, and the Steelers could offer him more money with $5.7M in cap space. But with Roethlisberger commanding a $23.75M cap hit, would they really use that money on another QB?
Other potential homes
Denver Broncos (+1000)
The Broncos seemed to find something late last season with Drew Lock, but don’t count out John Elway when it comes to pursuing a big name QB. Elway has been aggressive this offseason, signing DT Jurell Casey and RB Melvin Gordon, and they’ve been towards the top of the board in terms of their odds to sign Newton since late March. Perhaps it’s unclear whether Newton would start or back up Lock, who went 4-1 with a 64% completion rate after taking over for Joe Flacco last season. Newton likely wouldn’t sign up to hold a clipboard for a second-year pro.
Chicago Bears (+1100)
The Bears were the favorites to land Newton in mid-March, but have since traded for Nick Foles from the Jaguars for a fourth-round pick. They’re still in contention as a potential landing spot for Newton, but it’s hard to imagine Chicago stacking two QBs with name recognition ahead of Mitchell Trubisky, who they took No. 2 overall in 2017.
Washington Redskins (+1500)
Washington was the favorite at some books to sign Newton as of March 26, but has dropped down the board considerably with Redskins beat writers standing pat on their assertion that the front office isn’t interested. They drafted Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 overall last year and have Alex Smith coming back from a leg injury. While a reunion with Ron Rivera is poetic, that’s about all we have for a narrative of Newton to Washington.
Las Vegas Raiders (+1500)
The Raiders pretty much put any thoughts of pursuing Newton to rest when they signed Marcus Mariota for $7.5M. Derek Carr and Mariota make for a crowded enough QB meeting room without Newton crashing the party.