Should Redskins consider pursuing Cam Newton?

Ben Krimmel
October 14, 2019 - 11:07 am

The 2019 season is only six weeks old, but it is not too soon to start thinking about 2020.

And in the modern NFL, the "ultimate team game" really comes down to one position: Quarterback. Now, what if there was a former MVP quarterback available as a free agent this offseason, is that something you might be interested in? 

Well, hold on to your butts, because this scenario could actually happen. Cam Newton, who won an MVP and made the Super Bowl just a few seasons ago, could possibly be available.

Newton, who has missed the past few weeks due to various injuries, has seen his replacement second-year Kyle Allen play decently and got the Carolina Panthers to 4-2 as they hit the bye week. There is speculation among people around the NFL the Panthers may ride the hot hand and stick with Allen, which would spell the end of Newton's time in Carolina.

According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, an AFC general manager told him the trade market for Newton could be robust with as many as 10 teams interested in acquiring the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. Of course, if the Panthers decide to move on from the 30-year-old quarterback without trading him, they would only take a $2 million cap hit.

So... where do the Washington Redskins fit in? Well, for one thing, owner Daniel Snyder loves to make a splash in the free-agent market, signing a former MVP would certainly fit mesh with his style. And the Redskins quarterback situation is anything but settled at the moment.

Case Keenum is once again the starter but has not looked like anything beyond a placeholder and Colt McCoy, who hasn't been healthy enough to remain on the field for an extended stretch during his time in Washington, will be elsewhere after the 2019 season. That leaves the No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft as the last remaining question mark: Is Dwayne Haskins the future?

Haskins, who has thrown just 17 NFL passes during his one appearance this season, hasn't taken command of the offense. And, of course, Haskins could make this a moot point if he plays well during the final 10 games of the season. Washington should give him every opportunity down the stretch to prove he is the guy going forward. 

On top of all that, there is the small matter of who the next head coach. Reports indicated Snyder wants to make a play for Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin, but the team won't start searching until after the season to give interim head coach Bill Callahan and staff the rest of the season to work undisturbed. And a number of internal candidates may be considered, including offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell.

There is some risk to this: Newton has taken a great number of hits during his career. However, when healthy, he has been a top of the line starter. In his nine seasons, he has tallied 240 total touchdowns and averages 3703 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions per 16 games. 

Now, if the Redskins are pushed out of the trade market for Newton, another quarterback who could draw their interest in Marcus Mariota. Another former No. 2 overall pick, he has languished under a prehistoric offense in Tennessee this year and was benched for Ryan Tannehill in Denver on Sunday. Mariota has also dealt with his share of injuries during his five seasons in the league, but has youth on his side. He is only 3.5 years older than Haskins and over four years younger than Newton.

After getting their first win Sunday, the Redskins now have one focus over the next 11 weeks: Figure out whether Haskins is the guy. 

But if he isn't there are plenty of veteran options and the 2020 NFL Draft, too.

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