One of the biggest surprises of this NFL offseason remains the fact that veteran quarterback Cam Newton still doesn’t have a team for 2020. Newton, who won the NFL MVP award in 2015, was released by Carolina Panthers in March and remains unsigned ever since.
While several factors played a part in the 31-year-old signal-caller’s ongoing free agent status, many analysts think that Newton’s health issues remain the biggest stumbling block for NFL teams to offer him a contract. And his former Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera appears to agree.
Rivera recently made an appearance on ‘Fox Football Now’ with Jay Glazer, where he said that the season-ending injuries in the previous two seasons made it tough for Newton to land a job in recent months.
“I think that’s probably the biggest thing, more than anything else,” said Rivera. “You’ve got to know. The foot and the shoulder will be the two biggest concerns everybody has.”
Cam Newton’s shoulder injury dates back to 2017 when he underwent surgery on it during the offseason. The issues returned towards the end of 2018 regular season, and he ended up missing Week 16 and Week 17 games before undergoing another procedure in early 2019. Newton recovered in time to start the past season but ended up playing just two games before being ruled out for the season due to a foot injury.
Newton was on track to recover completely from the injury, but the coronavirus pandemic didn’t give teams an opportunity to gather more intel on him so the majority of them decided to avoid the risk.
Reportedly, Newton himself is not in a hurry to sign with a team at the moment and is willing to wait for his opportunity. He might get one later in the season in case one team has an underperforming QB or their starter suffers an injury.
Aside from winning an MVP award, Newton also has three Pro Bowl appearances and one All-Pro selection. He has 29,041 career passing yards and 182 passing touchdowns to go with 4,806 rushing yards and 58 TDs.