The NFL’s roster deadline always features a string of surprising cuts, but the Patriots took that to a whole new level on Tuesday when they released Cam Newton, paving the way for rookie Mac Jones to start in Week 1.
With so many teams in need of a worthy backup QB, Newton figures to find a new home before the start of the regular season in two weeks.
The Cowboys have been mentioned as a potential destination amid the uncertainty surrounding Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury. The Steelers would make sense given Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins offer little upside as backups.
However, what about the Indianapolis Colts, who have an injury-prone starter in Carson Wentz and the unexperienced Jacob Eason in line to be his backup?
While we like the idea of adding extra insurance behind Wentz, it seems like Newton would only create more headaches for the Colts.
Should the Colts pursue Cam Newton following his Patriots release?
Despite the fact countless fans are clamoring for Cam, the Colts should probably steer clear of the former MVP. While the positives vastly outweigh the negatives, the one negative (Newton isn’t vaccinated) is too risky of a gamble for Indianapolis.
This is simply the world we live in right now, and having a pair of seemingly unvaccinated QBs filling the top two spots on your depth chart is asking for trouble. Could you imagine if Wentz and Newton both hit the COVID list at the same time? (It’s been assumed Wentz is not vaccinated because the protocols he must abide by at this moment after being placed on the COVID list are only required for unvaccinated players.)
That would be a nightmare. Though Eason could be promoted at the drop of a hat, who would be his backup? Why put yourself through that … especially when Eason’s vaccinated and earned the backup job during camp and the preseason?
Let’s also not forget about Sam Ehlinger. The promising sixth-round rookie suffered a knee sprain in Sunday’s preseason finale, but won’t require surgery and is only expected to miss between 5-6 weeks of action.
That puts him on schedule to return just a couple games into the year, so the Colts’ quarterback room will be back to full strength before long.
We’ll admit that the positives behind signing Newton are difficult to ignore. He’ll be dirt cheap and GM Chris Ballard loves a good bargain. The 33-year-old also has a career 75-63-1 record, is a proven leader and can fulfill the role Jacoby Brissett had last season as a short-yardage and goal-line specialist.
However, Newton showed last year with the Patriots that he isn’t the same passer as he was during his prime. Throw in the fact that his vaccination status could put the Colts at a severe competitive disadvantage and you’ll come to the realization that Ballard and Co. should bypass signing him.