Speculation over the quarterback position will likely dominate Chicago Bears discussions to the end of 2019 and into 2020. That is unless Mitch Trubisky finishes the year strong. He certainly ended November that way with 338 yards and three touchdowns in a comeback win over Detroit. However, this month could end up putting the final nail in his Bears career with Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, and Minnesota all lining up with good defenses. This is why conversations about a new QB aren’t dead yet. Should Cam Newton still be among them?
Most people felt this idea was too farfetched when the rumors began two months ago. This was when backup Kyle Allen was hot and playing really well. Newton was down with a foot injury and it was even reported by Ian Rapoport that he would embrace a trade out of town with Chicago being a place he wouldn’t mind playing. That buzz soon began to fade as Allen cooled down. People started to think Newton was a virtual guarantee to re-assume his spot in Carolina.
Then the other shoe dropped.
After a 5-7 start, Carolina owner David Tepper decided it was time for changes. Head coach Ron Rivera was fired, ending a nine-year run with the organization. The man had coached Newton his entire career and that exit suddenly put the QB’s future in question. Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz believes the overhaul will continue into the offseason with Newton himself being shipped out.
“It’s an absolutely perfect time to draft a first-round quarterback and begin the reboot process if you’re the Panthers. Clean break. Start over with a new coach and a new front office.
There’s one last thing to consider as well: Tepper wants a new stadium. Even though he’s a billionaire, he will ask for money to help fund that stadium and having a new trendy team, with an up-and-coming quarterback could help sell the public on the idea.
In the end, the firing of Rivera is just the start of a Tepper reboot of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are going to get younger, more analytical, and it will start with a new coach and probably a new quarterback too.”
Cam Newton would give the Bears instant credibility
Newton has been discussed at length by several experts in regards to the Bears. They feel he is the biggest attainable prize for any team looking for a quick fix at quarterback. Understandably so. He’s a former league MVP and when healthy among the most physically gifted players at the position in the NFL. He also isn’t too old. He’ll be 31-years old in 2020. The big questions revolve around two issues. Can he stay healthy and is he a good fit for Matt Nagy’s offense?
Newton has suffered two injuries since last season that landed him on Injured Reserve. The first was a problem with his throwing shoulder due to a hit in a game against Pittsburgh. Then is was a Lisfranc fracture in his foot at the beginning of this season. Some are starting to wonder if the punishment he’s endured for years is starting to catch up to him and his body can’t hold up anymore. The only way to know for sure is seeing him back on the field.
As to the other part, it’s a legitimate question. Nagy runs a West Coast-style offense with spread concepts. This requires a quarterback who can stand in the pocket, read the field quickly and find the open man. Newton hasn’t been known for being that kind of QB. He’s far more effective in a run-pass option offense with a strong commitment to running the football.
This is not to say Nagy wouldn’t adjust to Newton, but as things look right now the fit seems a bit awkward. That said, in terms of talent, age, and proven track record the Bears likely won’t find anybody better in free agency or on the trade market next March.