ASHBURN, Va. --NFL teams make controversial moves all of the time. "Daring moves''? That's an interesting choice of words.
ESPN did a series last week predicting a 'daring move' for all 32 teams, but ... the Washington Football Team choice isn't all that daring.
If Washington signs Cam Newton - as is predicted by ESPN and has been covered in great detail by us - that's a "gamble'' ... but we don't view it as "daring.''
READ MORE: A 'Sleeper' Pick For WFT?
Here's what ESPN said: "Washington head coach Ron Rivera had a chance to sign his former Panthers franchise quarterback Newton in the first year with his new team in 2020. Since he chose not to, it may seem like a stretch that Rivera would target Newton this offseason after the latter's Patriots underwhelmed with a 7-9 record."
To us, this is a take that lacks context. We can tell you that when Washington made the move for Kyle Allen (last March via trade), it was because they and everyone thought Newton would command a lot more money than he ultimately did.
Washington had in its employ Alex Smith counting for about $21 million, and had Dwayne Haskins, too, a first-round pick the year before, counting several million on the cap. The WFT needed another QB, but it had to be a budget savvy decision.
That's the reason Rivera and the WFT looked elsewhere - and we've been told that by both sides. This argument that many are citing therefore really isn't true.
There were medical questions about Newton last offseason as well. There's still significant doubts about his ability to throw darts because he struggled in a few ways in New England. ... and has long been a rather erratic thrower.
Interestingly, he had a much higher completion percentage (65.8%) in Foxboro than his career previously (59.6%).
Per ESPN: "Newton threw 10 interceptions and fumbled six times on 505 combined pass and run attempts. That 3.2% rate was better than former MVP Lamar Jackson's 3.6% rate. And to the latter point, Newton had a 45.5% success across his pass and run plays that mirrored Jackson's 45.9% rate as well as the 45.5% and 45.4% rates of Justin Herbert and Matt Ryan, lauded pocket passers."
Newton's interception rate with the Patriots was exactly the same as it had been his entire career, and his yards per attempt mark was 7.2 compared to his career average of 7.3.
A reminder: Newton didn't have much to work with last year. Even Tom Brady struggled, relatively, in 2019 with a lack of weapons. It's part of what drove him away.
Newton's 45.5% success rate was better than Haskins (36.7%) and Alex Smith (41.9%).
How much better might Cam Newton in a system he knows, and with some level of weaponry?
READ MORE: Perfect Fit for Cam in DC?
There are some who think Cam Newton is the perfect fit in Washington. There are some that feel he is a terrible fit. Speculation last week indicated that Newton will not be pursued by Washington but it's March 1. We'd suggest that the hyperbole, and the declarative statements, be turned down a notch here ... and that a bit of patience be included into the consideration of the "gamble'' that would be Cam in D.C.