We are over a week into May and former NFL MVP Cam Newton still does not have a team. Since he became a free agent in March, the LA Chargers have been viewed as a potential fit for Newton.
Nothing happened. Tom Telesco and the front office prioritized in bringing in various free agents to fill holes and that is exactly what they did. The team drafted quarterback Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick, giving the team its quarterback of the future.
If the Chargers did not draft a quarterback then Newton would have become more likely. However, the team drafting Herbert should not worsen the chances of Newton coming to LA. In fact, there is only one thing that should be holding the LA Chargers back from signing the former MVP.
LA Chargers: The one thing that could be holding the Chargers back from signing Cam Newton:
Three words — the offensive line.
Jason Peters was one of the best free agent tackles on the market but the veteran has not yet found a new home. The 38-year-old tackle is very capable of being productive and would be a one-year upgrade from Trey Pipkins while also allowing Pipkins to continue to grow.
Peters alone would not be enough to take up all of the Chargers’ roughly $21 million in cap space.
Another interesting name is Larry Warford, who was just released by the New Orleans Saints after drafting Cesar Ruiz. Warford has been a Pro Bowler the last three seasons and would be a massive upgrade at left guard for the Bolts.
The only thing that should be holding the Chargers back from signing Newton is waiting out the market for both of those offensive linemen. Wait for that market to establish itself, and if the Chargers have remaining cap space after those two sign, wherever they sign, they Newton should become a target.
Yes, it would give the Chargers a four-deep quarterback room, which is a bit redundant, but for a roster that has the talent that it does, Newton is a smart risk.
We know that he is not going to cost much or demand a long-term contract. Jameis Winston, who definitely was more valuable this offseason, signed only a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the New Orleans Saints.
That should be indicative of Newton’s value. The argument that he will cost too much no longer applies.
The intriguing part about Newton is that he gives the Chargers a higher ceiling than the team has with Tyrod Taylor. Is there a guarantee that Newton will be better than Taylor? Absolutely not, there are still questions around his health.
However, Newton at his best is undoubtedly the better quarterback. There is no harm in bringing Newton in, letting him compete for the job and then if it doesn’t work out, the team has Tyrod Taylor to fall back on.
It is not a matter of Tyrod or Cam. It is simply giving the LA Chargers more options.