Could former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton be of use to the New York Jets following Aaron Rodgers' devastating injury?
All the hype and expectations surrounding the New York Jets during the offseason lasted just four offensive plays when competitive action commenced on Monday Night Football. A devastating injury to Aaron Rodgers saw the quarterback tear his Achilles, ruling him out for the entire season and ending Robert Saleh's hopes of a Super Bowl tilt before it began.
The Jets appear confident in Zach Wilson despite making their daring move for Rodgers. Even if they move forward with the former No. 2 overall selection, the AFC East outfit needs to get another veteran presence into the building if he cannot meet expectations.
Multiple names have been mentioned either on the free-agent market or via trade. Some have even taken matters into their own hands in pursuit of generating interest.
Don't expect the NY Jets to call Cam Newton
Colin Kaepernick's agent reportedly called the Jets to see if he could be of assistance despite being out of the league for seven years. Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton also dropped a subtle hint on social media that he'd be receptive if Joe Douglas came calling in the coming days.
Newton hasn't given up on his dream of getting another NFL opportunity despite missing the entire 2022 campaign. His workout at Auburn's pro day didn't come with a concrete offer, so it appears as if the league has officially moved on from the 2015 MVP.
The No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft hasn't admitted defeat publicly. But his growing media commitments and ever-expanding real estate portfolio indicate that football might be pretty far from his mine despite the bravado.
Make no mistake, Newton or any other free agent/backup would jump at the chance to join the Jets. This is a roster stacked with talent and if Wilson cannot rid himself of the errors that have blighted his time in the league so far, getting time on the field is a distinct possibility.
This would be a fairytale for Newton - especially considering his prowess as a mentor that often goes overlooked. But in all honesty, it's a non-starter.
New York's scheme implemented specifically for Rodgers doesn't play to Newton's strengths. The Jets might also want a player familiar with the system given the timeframe in such unexpected circumstances.
Lastly, we don't know what - if anything - Newton has left. He's missed a ton of time since his initial and controversial release by the Panthers in 2020 and even though some mitigating factors were in play, it doesn't change the fact he's been proverbially cast aside.
Large sections of Panthers fans still idolize Newton and are no doubt eagerly awaiting the day he's immortalized in franchise history after a contribution that will live through the ages. It's clear he doesn't want to go out on recent perceptions, but joining the Jets would be nothing short of jaw-dropping.
This is a bizarre situation. Newton doesn't need the money and he has absolutely nothing to prove, but there is a clear reluctance to let go of what could be rather than look back with a real sense of accomplishment.
Rodgers' expressive leadership had a positive impact on Wilson throughout the summer. Newton would definitely bring the same energy, even if it's probably a distraction that the Jets don't need.