Carolina Panthers, NFL Free Agency

Cam Newton waiting until after the draft to sign is a smart decision

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton plans on waiting until after the 2020 NFL Draft to sign with a team. That’s a wise move on his behalf.

Cam Newton was once at the top of the NFL mountain. He now finds himself at the bottom, trying to work his way back up.

After going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton was solid-yet-unspectacular for four consecutive seasons. His major breakthrough came in 2015, when he led the team to a 15-1 record, threw 35 touchdowns and won the league’s Most Valuable Player award.

The Panthers would get all the way to Super Bowl 50 and although they lost to the Denver Broncos, a then 26-year-old Newton seemed to just be getting started.

Two ho-hum seasons ensued and while Newton was much better in 2018 and somewhat resembled his old self, his durability concerns caught up with him. He’s a big-bodied quarterback capable of taking his fair share of hits but over the years, the countless bone-crushing blows have left their mark.

Newton played in just two games last season and has since been released by Carolina, the only franchise he’s ever known. Now, in what’s been one of the weirdest offseasons to date, he’s tasked with proving his old team wrong. It appears he’ll wait until after the draft to do so, though.

247Sports’ Riley Gates shared an excerpt from ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler in which he reported that Newton has no issue being patient and waiting this process out. That likely means signing after the conclusion of the draft. Not only does Newton not have much of an incentive to sign right now, but waiting ensures he’ll have the best opportunity possible.

With names like Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert and even Jordan Love potentially going in the first round, all four could end up starting at some point this year. Depending on where they land, that could determine where Newton wants to go. Teams like the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots, squads with already-competitive rosters, may benefit from a veteran like Newton instead of starting fresh.

A better picture of the quarterback landscape provides Newton with the ability to find his best-fit organization. On top of that, with teams currently prohibited from going to or meeting in facilities because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Newton wouldn’t benefit much from signing now anyway. As more time passes, his decision will be much easier to make and live with.

Newton’s injury history is also no secret. Holding off a few more weeks (or even a month-plus) before getting a physical examination will do him some good and allow him to be in tip-top shape. He’s been working out all offseason and appears to be as hungry as ever.

Next: 5 breakout stars to watch for New England Patriots in 2020

Newton will be back. It may not be as soon as some would hope, but it’s for the best.

Giving the NFL a bit more time to calm down could be the difference between a brief pitstop and a career resurrection.

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