Some have asked how and why a quarterback like Andy Dalton could find another job before a quarterback like Cam Newton. On the surface, it definitely seems odd; Newton is a former MVP and, when healthy, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
But “when healthy” is one of the biggest impediments to his current employment prospects. Newton isn’t healthy. Or, more accurately, teams interested in Newton aren’t able to determine, with the assistance of their own doctors, whether he’s healthy. And it’s not just the foot injury that derailed his 2019 season as it was beginning that needs to be checked out thoroughly. Last year, Cam’s rehab following shoulder surgery included the debut of a new throwing motion — after eight years in the NFL.
Beyond that, consider this: Would Newton accept a deal with $3 million guaranteed plus the ability to earn “up to $7 million” (which means the base value is far less than that)? He most definitely wouldn’t, and he most definitely shouldn’t.
Also, this: Would Newton accept being No. 2 on a depth chart, anywhere?
His far better approach at this point will be to wait for someone to get injured, which isn’t as much of a certainty as it is for a position like running back, but which probably will happen. Last year, plenty of quarterbacks were thrust into service, with Sam Darnold contracting mono and Ben Roethlisberger injuring his elbow and Cam injuring his foot and Joe Flacco injuring his neck and Matthew Stafford having a broken bone in his back and Drew Brees tearing a ligament in his thumb. (Of course, plenty of teams may decide by then to turn to the next man up. In plenty of cities, like Pittsburgh, the next man up can’t carry Cam’s blank-strap.)
Beyond injury, there will be ineffectiveness. As teams win games, other teams necessarily will lose games and losses will pile up and teams will get desperate and that desperation could cause someone to make the move for Newton. (In other words, the Bears.)
The fact that Dalton signed before Newton doesn’t mean that the Cowboys or anyone else views Dalton as better than Newton. The circumstances are just different, dramatically different.
And Newton is still the better quarterback. Perhaps dramatically better.
Andy Dalton signing before Cam Newton isn’t a surprise originally appeared on Pro Football Talk