Cam Newton is looking for a job in 2023, and the quarterback sent a not-so-subtle hint to Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera.
While the Washington Commanders are planning to move forward with Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett as their quarterback options next season, it remains to be seen whether this duo can provide the consistency needed. There’s every chance the winner of their upcoming camp battle can thrive under the expert offensive mind of Eric Bieniemy, but this decision is going to have severe ramifications for head coach Ron Rivera if things don’t go as expected.
Rivera avoided the temptation to make a play for Lamar Jackson. Something that didn’t come as a surprise considering his preference for drafting, developing, and rewarding rather than splashy moves that could go either way.
With almost no spare money to make further veteran additions, it’s apparent Rivera has bet his job on his two signal-callers finally providing stability under center. However, that didn’t stop Cam Newton from dropping a not-so-subtle hint to his former head coach and the Commanders during a recent appearance on YouTube.
Cam Newton would accept a backup role with the Commanders
Newton is looking for a route back into the league. While the 2015 NFL MVP still believes he can be a productive starter, he’s also coming to the realization that accepting a backup role is the only way he’ll really get another opportunity.
After putting on a solid showing at Auburn’s pro day, Newton stated that he is willing to play second-fiddle to someone in the right fit. He went on to name specific quarterbacks, which included Howell.
““There ain’t 32 guys that’s better than me. But I also know that I could also be a backup, and I’m willing to be a backup.””
Howell is known to Newton having come through the Heisman Trophy winner’s 7-on-7 camp. Something others currently plying their trade around the league also benefited from during their early development.
One could argue Newton is the only quarterback decision Rivera’s ever gotten right during his coaching career. And he pretty much lucked into it after the Carolina Panthers landed the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Those days when Newton took the league by storm are long gone. It’s been a rocky road for the signal-caller since the Panthers released him in 2020, although one could point to a series of suspect environments that made thriving especially difficult.
If Rivera thought Newton would have been useful for the Commanders, he’d have snapped him up three years ago. That wasn’t the case then and his stance is unlikely to alter this go-around.
Rivera remains a big fan of Newton and has lauded him publicly for his immense impact on the Panthers and his coaching career. But the Commanders have made their choice with Howell and Brissett for good or bad.
What the future holds for Newton is unclear. There’s clearly something putting off teams from taking the plunge as a backup – perhaps his larger-than-life personality piling additional pressure on a starter is a complication they don’t need.
Either way, a reunion with Rivera is among the most unlikely scenarios surrounding Newton. If this was to occur in Washington, it would have happened long before now.