As the NFL quarterback carousel continues to spin, everyone is wondering where it leaves former Auburn Tigers standout Cam Newton. The oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook have posted that the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner will be reunited with his former coach Ron Rivera in Washington at odds of -105. The 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick is a three-time Pro Bowler who garnered league MVP honors and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015 with Rivera as his mentor and coach.
Newton has missed 16 games over the past two seasons due to injury after missing a total of just three in his first seven NFL campaigns. As we learned earlier this week, Newton will likely not be returning to Carolina. The tension between Newton and the Panthers organization was never more evident than when the star QB called out the team on Instagram:
If the confusing font needs translation, it reads as follows:
“Stop with the word play!! I never asked for it!! There is no dodging this one. I love the @panthers to death and will always love you guys!! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this; you forced me into this!!”
Let’s break down the top five betting options:
Washington Redskins (-105)
The Redskins make sense because of the connection to Rivera, who Newton flourished under back in 2015 when he threw a career-high 35 touchdown passes en route to a 15-1 record. The Redskins already have Dwayne Haskins, who they selected with the 15th overall pick in last year's draft. However, Haskins went just 2-5 as a starter. In the nine games he played, Haskins only completed 58.6 percent of his passes for 1,365 yards with just as many touchdowns as interceptions (7). Newton would have to have a strong training camp and beat out Haskins in order to win the job. The history with Rivera as well as the coach not having any previous ties to Washington’s first-round pick from a year ago is where the value lies here. Logical contender.
New England Patriots (+340)
The post Tom Brady era has begun in New England, now that the heralded quarterback has signed with Tampa Bay.
As of now, their projected Week 1 starter is Jarrett Stidham, a 2019 fourth-round pick out of Auburn. Stidham, who only started a total of 27 games as a member of the Tigers, threw just four passes in the NFL as a rookie. I wouldn’t put it past Belichick to draft one of the dynamic quarterback prospects, but New England will most likely need to trade up to acquire one as opposed to landing one at No. 23 overall.
Back in 2017, Belichick was not shy in showering Newton with praise: “I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks—guys that are tough to handle, can throw, run, make good decisions—I would put him at the top of the list.”
Hearing that kind of praise should force bettors to not easily dismiss the “Evil Empire” at healthy odds of +340. I am inclined to wager he lands up in Boston and makes a resurrection. A healthy Newton could instantly make the Patriots the team to beat in the AFC East once again. Top Betting Choice.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+750)
In order for Newton to sign with Jacksonville, he would most likely have to admit that his days as an NFL starting quarterback are over.
The Jaguars traded away Nick Foles to Chicago this past week, signaling the franchise is fully ready to hand the keys to the offense to Gardner Minshew. My guess is this is the logical landing spot for former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. The Jaguars need an experienced veteran and they would get just that in Dalton, who has won 70 games in his NFL career. In addition, former Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden now has the same role with the Jaguars. Dalton, not Newton, is the move that makes sense to me here. Pass.
Los Angeles Chargers (+1000)
The Chargers are another intriguing betting possibility after they walked away from the face of the franchise, Philip Rivers, and he signed with the Indianapolis Colts this past week. That leaves Tyrod Taylor as the most likely Week 1 starter.
While Taylor is a strong backup quarterback, he is exactly that, a backup. He is not a player who can lead the Chargers to the playoffs, especially in a division as competitive as the AFC West—home to the defending Super Bowl Champions. The Chargers are moving into SoFi Stadium and they need star power to help sell tickets and Taylor is not that guy. In addition, plain and simple, everything Taylor can do Newton can do better.
The Chargers currently own the No. 6 pick in the draft, which means they could land either Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa, should either fall into their laps. The upside of a potentially healthy Newton slinging passes to Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry is extremely appealing. In addition, let’s not forget about one of the league’s most underrated talents in Austin Ekeler. Solid Sleeper
I don’t see any value in the Miami Dolphins (+260) who still have journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick and will likely select Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall pick in the NFL Draft next month. I could be wrong as the books have lowered the odds on Miami’s chances down from 4/1, but I am not buying it. I will also cross off the Las Vegas Raiders (+950) after they recently signed Marcus Mariota to back up Derek Carr. The odds are attractive on the Pittsburgh Steelers at odds of 29/1 and the Cincinnati Bengals at 45/1. However, attractive is all they are. The Steelers are getting back Ben Roethlisberger, who said he’s throwing without pain for the first time in years, while the Bengals will almost definitely tab former LSU star and 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in April's draft.
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