Do not be afraid of Cam Newton

Bills fans seem hesitant, at the least, to want to bring Newton to Buffalo

Joe DiBiase
April 09, 2020 - 1:24 pm

On the field, there is no reasonable reason for the Buffalo Bills not to pursue Cam Newton as their backup quarterback. The debate of bringing in a former MVP as a backup to Josh Allen resides entirely for off the field reasons.

It's the classic struggle. If you have two quarterbacks, do you have zero? Or do you have two?

Newton remains without a team almost a month into free agency. There's no doubt that he is looking for either a starting job or a chance to start somewhere. This is clearly confirmed by some of his social media posts.

Okay, clearly might not be the word. Reading Newton's tweets is one of the most annoying things on Twitter.

There are obvious connections between Newton and the Bills, as both he, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott spent several years together with the Carolina Panthers.

Beane was asked about signing Newton on CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday and said that while he would never say never, he thinks Newton deserves a chance to start somewhere, but doesn't believe that chance will come in Buffalo.

Beane didn't completely shut the door on signing Newton. It sounds like he'd be open to it, should Newton fail to find a landing spot that gives him a chance to start. That just might be what ends up happening.

Where is he going to go?

The New England Patriots remain the team that would seem easiest to start, but to this point they've shown no interest, and there are several reports that say Newton and Bill Belichick couldn't co-exist.

So what else is there?

The Chicago Bears already traded for Nick Foles, so they're out. The Los Angeles Chargers have just Tyrod Taylor, but are likely headed towards drafting a rookie in the first round of the NFL Draft. They may be out. The Washington Redskins could be an option with Newton's old coach Ron Rivera at the helm, but they do have Dwayne Haskins and could even draft Tua Tagovailoa if they like. He could go to a place like the Pittsburgh Steelers, where the starter is coming off an elbow injury.

There's just not much out there.

So, if a month goes by and the Chargers draft a guy, Washington commits to going forward with Haskins, and New England seems content on Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, what is Newton's move? Sit out for a year? Or sign as a backup?

If he has to settle for a backup job, the Bills are the perfect spot for him. He already has the familiarity with the coach and general manager. He also plays a very similar style to Allen - big, athletic, and a big arm to attempt to stretch the field.

For me, Newton should try to sign with the Chargers, Redskins, or Patriots. If all three say they're not interested, the Bills could be next.

Now, does it make sense for the Bills to sign Newton? The top argument against the idea is having a potential quarterback controversy.

I have two thoughts on that.

First, if you get to a point where you're wondering if they should turn to Newton, Allen likely isn't playing all that well. So far, Allen has pretty much followed the Mitch Trubisky track where he showed some signs in his rookie season, followed by a big improvement in Year 2 with a playoff berth.

Year 3 for Trubisky was a tire fire. There was a point in the season where Bears fans were literally chanting for Chase Daniel. CHASE DANIEL! Chicago was wishing they had a better Plan B to Trubisky and their season got away from them because there was no alternative. This offseason, they traded for Foles, the type of move they probably wish they did before last season.

Newton could be the Bills trading for Foles, but it would be proactive instead of reactive. I'm not assuming Allen will flame out in 2020. In fact, with the addition of Stefon Diggs and New England headed for a potential down season, I'd bet Allen and the Bills win the AFC East this year. This is the "just in case" that Chicago didn't have last year.

Second, if the Bills are truthful in that they don't pay attention to the outside noise, which they say all the time, they wouldn't be worried about fans talking about who should start at any point.

Newton makes total sense for the Bills, in that they have a Super Bowl caliber roster with a quarterback that we're still not completely sure about. Allen should improve, but he certainly doesn't have to. If half a season goes by and Allen is having a season similar to that of Trubisky in 2019, would you rather have a Newton to turn to and save the season, or let the year go to waste because you were afraid to have a Plan B?

That's not to mention what would happen if Allen got hurt. Don't even try to tell me you'd have as much confidence they could win playoff games with Matt Barkley, as much as if Newton was ready to check in.

Not all, but many Bills fans, especially on Twitter, tend to be hyper-sensitive when it comes to criticisms of Allen. Some of it is fair, but let's not all act like Allen is a rock solid franchise quarterback. Otherwise, just go ahead and give him a $100 million contract as soon as you can.

I'm optimistic that Allen can be their quarterback for a decade, but I'm not sold all the way. I am sold on this roster. They have a great defense and great pieces on offense around the quarterback position. The Bills can't waste that. They shouldn't waste that.

Be like the New Orleans Saints, rather than the Bears. New Orleans had a franchise quarterback in Drew Brees, but they still went out and re-signed Teddy Bridgewater, who could keep the ship afloat if Brees got hurt.

This isn't exactly the same, but Newton could be Buffalo's version of Bridgewater.

Luckily, Beane didn't sound like a man afraid to make this move, should Newton need to settle for a backup job. If the general manager isn't afraid, you shouldn't be either.

If you have two quarterbacks, you have two quarterbacks.

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