Cam Newton resurfaced at Auburn’s Pro Day this week, but could he really be a fit to be the Detroit Lions’ No. 2 quarterback?
After not playing in the NFL last season, Cam Newton resurfaced at Auburn’s Pro Day this week as the headliner of an event that didn’t feature a top-end 2023 draft prospect from the school. He may feel like there aren’t 32 quarterbacks in the league better than him, but the most recent version of him we’ve seen says different.
Plain and simply, Newton’s 2015 MVP season with the Carolina Panthers was a long time ago now and he will turn 34 in May. Maybe time has healed the injuries (shoulder, etc.) that clearly diminished his effectiveness in more recent years.
But it’s also fair to say his personality and general aura does not scream “happy to be a backup quarterback”, and that seems to be a core reason no team signed him last year.
NFL rumors: Could Cam Newton be a fit for the Detroit Lions?
Mostly out of curiosity, and as the Lions’ No. 2 quarterback spot remains unresolved, it was worth taking a look at the list of potential landing spots for Newton put together by Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports.
Indeed, the Lions made the list, No. 5 in the countdown from 6-to-1.
Dan Campbell likes him some tough guys with spunk, and Newton is precisely that. More importantly, Detroit doesn’t have a single QB other than Jared Goff under contract. Perhaps another big splash is coming in the draft, but unless the Lions really shoot for the stars and pursue, say, Lamar Jackson, they could still use proven insurance as they prepare for a playoff bid.
Calling Newton a “tough guy with spunk” is certainly something. There’s no denying that he works hard, and by many accounts (NFL Network’s Jason McCourty stands out recently, having played with Newton on the Patriots in 2020) has been a great teammate, even with the aforementioned personality and aura he carries.
At this point in his career, assuming he still has one as a player, Newton is more name than actual game as a quarterback. That name notoriety, paired with how he’d fit somewhere, automatically narrows the field of potential suitors. For some teams he just isn’t worth even the faint idea of trouble, in a broad definition of that word not meant to be controversial.
The Lions should be looking at all avenues for a more viable No. 2 quarterback. Friday’s re-signing of Nate Sudfeld should not alter that idea in a broad sense, if only based on adding competition and Sudfeld was not an upgrade to the situation behind Jared Goff last year.
Some cursory interest in Newton wouldn’t be surprising, even still, though the odds he lands in Detroit were and will remain remote.