CINCINNATI — The Bengals could be in the quarterback market this offseason. Joe Burrow is expected to miss anywhere from 9-to-12 months after tearing the ACL, MCL and suffering other damage to his left knee. He is expected to make a full recovery.
The 23-year-old is having surgery this week, but that doesn't mean he's going to be back in time for the start of the 2021 season.
Instead of rushing him back, Pro Football Focus predicts that the Bengals will Cam Newton to a one-year, $20 million fully guaranteed contract this offseason.
"He may not be the MVP-caliber quarterback he once was, but he’s made it clear he still deserves to start in this league," PFF wrote. "There have been some rough outings, but given his circumstances (new team, truncated offseason, worst WR/TE group in the NFL, and contracting COVID-19) he has also performed admirably for stretches of games."
Newton would give the Bengals a true backup plan just in case Burrow misses a significant chunk of the 2021 season. He's on a rookie contract, so signing Newton to a one-year, $20 million deal isn't unrealistic.
Newton has completed 178-of-266 passes (67%) for 1,984 yards and four touchdowns with the Patriots this season. He's also ran for 387 yards and nine scores.
PFF also has Cincinnati signing Rams tight end Gerald Everett to a three-year, $15 million deal and re-signing cornerback William Jackson III to a three-year, $40 million contract.
Defensive end Carl Lawson didn't make their top 50 free agents list.
For more on the Bengals, including the latest NFL news, go here!