Would Patriots be good fit for Cam Newton? Rodney Harrison gives interesting take

Nick Goss
NBC Sports Boston

May is almost over and Cam Newton remains an NFL free agent.

It's really hard to believe given how great of a career Newton has had over the last nine years. We're talking about the 2015 NFL MVP and a quarterback who's led his team to a Super Bowl.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Of course, Newton's health likely is a concern for teams still in need of a quarterback, and given the social distancing guidelines involved with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's not easy to evaluate a player and put him through a workout.

Newton missed the last 14 games of the 2019 season due to injury, and he's taken a lot of hits in the open field for a 31-year-old quarterback.

Why hasn't Newton signed yet? Former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison joined the "Rich Eisen Show" earlier this week and gave his take on the situation.

"Because nobody knows, Rich, nobody knows what's going on with Cam as far as, can you depend on him with his health ... and at this point in time you can't invest a lot of money because he's been so beat up," Harrison said. "I think the best thing for him to do is go into a situation, maybe go become a backup quarterback, learn, get healthy, and then if he gets his opportunity, go out there and shine. But I don't think he's going to be a starting quarterback this year in the National Football League."

One potential fit for Newton that experts and fans have debated quite a bit since the veteran quarterback's release from the Panthers in March is the Patriots. Believe it or not, the Patriots remain the betting favorites to land Newton.

The Pats are entering a transition year at quarterback following Tom Brady's departure in free agency. New England's likely starter is 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham, and while he showed plenty of promise in preseason games, training camp and various practices as a rookie, you could definitely argue Newton would give the Patriots a better chance of winning in 2020.

What does Harrison think about the Patriots as a potential spot for Newton?

"I know a lot of people out there are saying the Patriots, but I thought it would be a great situation where he could have came in at a reduced salary," Harrison said. "He could have came in and really learned a lot about just technique and just the intricacies of just being on a really great football team with great guidance as far as the head coach and offensive coordinator.

"I thought that would have been a really, really ideal situation for him. He could have came in, competed. Could have helped the young guy, the young guy could have helped to push him. I thought it would have been a perfect situation. I'm just a little disappointed that the Patriots weren't a little bit more aggressive, you know, just recruiting Cam."

The Patriots have limited salary cap space -- only about $1.3 million, as of this writing, per OverTheCap -- so signing Newton is tough for them right now purely from a financial perspective.

It's also possible the Patriots just aren't interested in Newton. If the Patriots want to learn what kind of player Stidham can become, he needs to get a lot more reps in 2020 than he did last season.

Would Patriots be good fit for Cam Newton? Rodney Harrison gives interesting take originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

What to Read Next