Despite the presence of Tyrod Taylor, the selection of Justin Herbert in the first round, and the decision to pass over the veteran-quarterback market after a failed pursuit of Tom Brady, the Los Angeles Chargers remain an option for free agent Cam Newton in the eyes of oddsmakers. According to the wagering site BetOnline, the Chargers currently hold 16/1 odds to have Newton on the roster in Week 1 of the upcoming regular season.
Newton, a former MVP and longtime starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, missed most of 2019 with a foot injury that required surgery. As part of the organizational overhaul the Panthers underwent this offseason, the front office released Newton in order to clear a path for the recently signed Teddy Bridgewater.
Since that time, Newton has posted videos of his training and rehabilitation sessions to assuage lingering concerns regarding his health. However, Newton has not made any visits to prospective teams due in part to the coronavirus shutdown that closed all club facilities for multiple months. He remains on the open market.
While the Chargers could still theoretically add Newton before the regular season, such a scenario would presumably require Taylor or Herbert to become unavailable. The team has invested considerable resources in both while the coaching staff has altered the offensive system to fit their strengths. Newton's skill set does overlap with theirs in some areas, but adding him at this stage would require further modifications to the scheme.
Even so, BetOnline ranks Newton as the third most likely Week 1 starter for the Chargers at this time.
Tyrod Taylor - 1/4
Justin Herbert - 5/2
Cam Newton - 16/1
[Easton Stick not listed]
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH