Could Cam Newton really be headed to New England? Oddsmakers seem to think so.
One sports book, PointsBet, has moved the odds of a Patriots-Newton marriage to the heavy favorites at -190, despite unwavering reports of the team’s disinterest in the 2015 NFL MVP.
Jeff Howe of The Athletic wrote on March 24 that “it doesn’t appear the Patriots have any immediate interest in adding [Newton],” and reiterated that stance on Monday.
“FYI nothing has changed here. The Patriots haven’t shown any interest in signing Cam Newton, per source,” Howe tweeted.
After the Panthers dumped him for Teddy Bridgewater this offseason, Newton remains the last big-name unsigned quarterback in a seemingly dead market. Jameis Winston is expected to sign with the Saints and is the most recent QB domino to fall. The Dolphins and Chargers were long-shot landing spots until they drafted Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, respectively, with back-to-back picks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Patriots’ quarterback situation remains unresolved after their breakup with Tom Brady after 20 years. Unable to pursue one of the prominent free agent options due to salary cap limitations, the team signed two undrafted quarterbacks this weekend — Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke and Louisiana Tech’s J’Mar Smith — after not selecting a high-profile prospect as many expected.
Their bloated cast of backup-caliber signal-callers is now comprised of 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham, journeyman Brian Hoyer, Lewerke Smith.
Stidham is the frontrunner of their rag-tag depth chart, but the 23-year-old is considered very much an unfinished product. He appeared in three games last year in mop-up duty, and completed two-of-four attempts for 14 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
Newton, 31, won the Heisman Trophy and was selected No. 1 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Auburn. His NFL career has been marred by injuries, however, the most recent of which a Lisfranc injury he suffered in the 2019 preseason which sidelined him for most of the regular season leading up to his release.
With NFL physicals suspended in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Newton poses an even bigger risk to prospective teams, who are unable to assess him in person.
PointsBet lists seven potential teams other than the Patriots for Newton.
— Jaguars +300: The Jaguars are an intriguing landing spot for Newton if they still have lingering doubts over 2019 sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew.
— Steelers +700: The Steelers are also an interesting prospective team in light of 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger’s health.
— Broncos +1000: Even John Elway remains uncertain if 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock can be a franchise quarterback.
— Bears +1100: It’s doubtful Newton ends up in Chicago after the team traded for Nick Foles this offseason and with Mitch Trubisky rostered.
— Redskins +1500: A reunion with Ron Rivera seems unlikely, especially after the team acquired former Panthers backup Kyle Allen instead of Newton to back up 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins.
— Raiders +1500: The Raiders already signed an expensive backup for Derek Carr in adding 2015 No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota.