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LA Chargers: Is it worth it to trade for Cam Newton?

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts in the first quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers reacts in the first quarter of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on September 12, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Cam Newton, a former MVP. A player whose ceiling at one point was incredibly high and the sky seemed like it was the limit.

Then now, oh how the times have changed completely. We now live in a world where Ron Rivera (a coach to lead the team to a Super Bowl is gone). And the current coach, Matt Rhule, will most likely be looking to move forward with current team options or even draft his guy with the seventh selection in the 2020 NFL draft.

It leaves a gaping question in the NFL world, where could Cam go? Obviously, he has been linked to a multitude of different teams such as the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals and of course our Los Angeles Chargers.

Now, in my opinion, I strongly feel giving away any assets to acquire a quarterback like Newton is a huge mistake.

Questionable leadership

As a team, the Chargers have been led by one of the most surefire leaders of the last decade.

Philip Rivers is nothing but a game-changing leader; he puts the team on his back and while he has shown his frustrations from time to time in games, he always bounces back and leads the team as best as he can into the next week.

Cam isn’t like that. There are times when he has sat on the bench pouting. In an article written by leadership coach Steve Adubato, it goes into detail after the SuperBowl about how Cam put in the abysmal effort and didn’t lead his men after the loss leading to the collapse that was the next season.

In the Chargers’ case, at least for the next year, they need a veteran who can be there to put the team on his back and lead it back on the path to success when things get tough. Newton is not that guy.

Cap can be used elsewhere

The Chargers should focus the majority of their cap on re-signing important impending free agents such as Melvin Gordon, Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler, etc… They should also focus on extending big-ticket players such as Joey Bosa.

The Chargers are coming off a year where the offensive line was ranked 29th in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. When it comes to free agency there are a lot of great offensive linemen who could be hitting the market. Just to name a few Brandon Scherff, Jack Conklin, Bryan Bulaga, and Anthony Castonzo.

Again more important targets to focus on.

Questionable play on the field

With one MVP year under his belt, it is easy to say Newton is a fringe top 10 quarterback every year. His 2015 season is an exceptional outlier the stats tend to say otherwise with each year becoming progressively less productive than the last.

Excluding 2019 due to injury, 2018 was one of the worst statistical years of his career, with only 3,395 passing yards, 488 rushing yards (the second-lowest of his career) and having a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio (including rushing TDs) therefore making us think; is his career on a downward slope (especially after recovering from a foot injury hindering his ability to run)?

(Stats can be found here)

Other available options

We are in a period of great quarterback options. There are a lot of potential draftable quarterbacks with the position the Chargers are in at No. 6.

They have the option of at least trying to move up for a quarterback like stud prospect Joe Burrow. And with new information that the Miami Dolphins are lukewarm on this year’s quarterback class, the team could select Tua Tagovailoa or Senior Bowl standout Justin Herbert.

Then again, the Chargers have potential free-agent options as well as touting one of the biggest classes for veteran quarterbacks. There are big names like Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota.

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These are players that can bring a lot of success if the team improves its offensive line. The Chargers already have the offensive weapons for them to throw to and they can easily transition the one to two-year gap of having a quarterback learn under them.

Also, potential trade targets such as my favorite potential quarterback Alex Smith could be available. Showing the Chargers don’t need to waste all this capital on a quarterback who could be washed up before he even steps on the field.

Bottom line

The Chargers have a lot of great options and Tom Telesco needs to break the habit he has had and spend some money on making this team the best of its capability. He has that chance this offseason.

Newton is not the way to go.

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