Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, NFL Free Agency

How serious were the Chargers about signing Cam Newton?

Though Anthony Lynn revealed his Los Angeles Chargers did take a look at Cam Newton, how serious was the organization about signing him this offseason?

The 2020 NFL Draft was almost a month ago and Cam Newton still doesn’t have a home.

The former No. 1 overall pick out of Auburn University in the 2011 NFL Draft spent his first nine seasons in the league with the Carolina Panthers. In Charlotte, Newton earned three trips to the Pro Bowl and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 in his 2015 NFL MVP season. Despite being the franchise’s leading passer, teams are not knocking down his door to sign the Heisman winner.

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn appeared on CBS Sports Radio with Zach Gelb recently. After being prompted by Gelb, Lynn revealed his organization did explore the possibility of signing Newton as a free agent. However, the Chargers opted to stay pat in NFL free agency, preferring to keep the guys in-house then drafting Justin Herbert No. 6 overall out of Oregon.

“Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback,” said Lynn. “He’s been MVP of this league, he’s led his team to the Super Bowl and he’s healthy now from what I hear. Cam is going to be on somebody’s roster and he’s going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure.”

Just not for the Chargers.

Los Angeles finished as runner-up in the Tom Brady sweepstakes. Once it became clear the longtime New England Patriots starting quarterback was taking his talents to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bolts quickly narrowed their focus on the upcoming NFL Draft. Looking at Newton was smart, but so was not signing him. Lynn clearly likes what he has in his quarterback room.

“I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have,” said Lynn. “With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don’t talk about, but he was a Division I AA — he won like three national championships. He’s a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day.”

Nobody will question the Chargers taking a smart West Coast kid with a rocket arm like Herbert No. 6 overall. From Dan Fouts to Kellen Clemens, Ducks always find a way to Southern California. While Lynn’s praise of Easton Stick is glowing, he is a developmental project who won a ton of games at FCS North Dakota State. There’s no issue having him in the quarterback room either.

What this ultimately comes down to is Lynn trusts the incumbent Tyrod Taylor way more to run his offense than Newton as a newcomer. Taylor has proven over the years he’s good enough to be a perennial stop-gap starter in this league. He had great success playing for Rex Ryan on the Buffalo Bills, a place where Lynn first rose to prominence as a run-first offensive coordinator.

So were the Chargers serious about signing Newton this spring? That’s debatable. General manager Tom Telesco is smart enough to at least take a look at a former top-flight talent that’s on the open market. Lynn should know Newton would do a fine job running his offense. However, the Chargers understood Herbert is their future. Taylor could handle this, but maybe not Newton.

Next: Each NFL division’s most significant rivalry of all time

Newton will find a new home this offseason, but it’ll be late summer before that likely happens.

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