Quarterback in the National Football League is the most important position in sports. Arguing otherwise seems foolish.
You’d think teams wouldn’t hold back when it comes to using resources to have the best quarterbacks possible, but that’s not the case. It’s rare for a team to use significant capital to acquire two quarterbacks at the same time hoping one works out. When the Chicago Bears signed Mike Glennon and drafted Mitchell Trubisky second overall in the same offseason, they were laughed at (it didn’t work, but that’s because they picked the wrong players, not because they doubled up).
Anthony Lynn explains why he passed on Cam Newton
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn acknowledged during a CBS Sports Radio interview his team looked at Newton, who is still a free agent and will be 31 years old this season. But they passed because they have a rookie, a veteran who nobody would argue is better than Newton and a 2019 fifth-round pick from the FCS who has never taken an NFL snap.
"I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have," Lynn told CBS Sports Radio. "With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don't talk about, but he was a Division I AA — he won like three national championships. He's a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day."
Maybe first-round pick Justin Herbert is a superstar right away, or Taylor plays like he did at his peak with the Buffalo Bills or Stick is the second coming of Tom Brady. But why not sign Newton, a former MVP, and find out? That’s what teams do at other positions and those positions are not as important as quarterback.
Perhaps Newton didn’t want to settle for what the Chargers were offering, in terms of years or money, but that’s not what Lynn said. Newton would be the best quarterback in the Chargers quarterback room that he likes so much, but NFL teams don’t think that way for some reason.
Newton is healthy, Lynn says
The parts of the interview with CBS Sports Radio’s Zach Gelb made it even more confusing, because Lynn had good things to say about Newton.
"Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback," said Lynn. "He's been MVP of this league, he's led his team to the Super Bowl and he's healthy now from what I hear. Cam is going to be on somebody's roster and he's going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure."
The “healthy now from what I hear” part is curious. Did the Chargers not look into it? Was Newton not able to get a physical and send the Chargers results? If Newton really is healthy — clearly that’s one factor in him not being signed — then he probably shouldn’t be unsigned.
Teams micromanage their rosters like you can’t believe sometimes. They agonize over injured reserve decisions because they don’t want to waste the 53rd spot on the roster, even though not all 53 are even active on game days. Yet, they have a strangely detached view at quarterback, often citing chemistry or development when that doesn’t matter at any other position.
The Chargers would be a better football team with Newton. That part is obvious. If he were to win the starting job in a competition, is that a bad thing? But when you have Easton Stick on the roster, apparently you don’t need a former MVP.
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