Ron Rivera says 'nothing is off the table' at QB for Washington, even Cam Newton

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Ethan Cadeaux
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Ron Rivera doesn't rule out Cam Newton as his potential QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Wednesday's mega-press conference by the Washington Football Team was held to introduce new general manager Martin Mayhew and executive VP of football/player personnel Marty Hurney, but questions about the team's plan at quarterback dominated the nearly hour-long event.

To nearly almost every question about the sport's most important position, head coach Ron Rivera and his two new execs reiterated the same phrase over and over and over and over again: "We're looking at all of our options."

Towards the end of the press conference, Rivera was asked about the possibility of signing Cam Newton, who he spent several years coaching in Carolina. The head coach's answer remained consistent, but Rivera did not rule out the possibility of a reunion in Washington with his longtime quarterback.

"I think the biggest thing we can say, guys, is that we're exploring all of our options," Rivera said. "Nothing is off the table. Again, as we go through this, we're going to do what we believe is best for us."

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The idea of bringing Newton to Washington has come up multiple times in Rivera's year-plus of being the boss of the Football Team. It's a natural connection, too.

Newton was the first player Rivera ever drafted as a head coach. The two enjoyed great success with the Panthers, as they led Carolina to four division championships together, including a 15-1 record and a Super Bowl appearance in 2015. Newton was named league MVP that same year.

This past offseason, Rivera chose not to sign Newton — who was a free agent and available for months — because he wanted to see the growth of Dwayne Haskins, Washington's first-round pick in 2019. Newton ultimately signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, while Haskins, of course, is no longer with the team.

Every time Rivera has been asked about Newton, he's only had great things to say about his former passer, too.

In October, the MMQB's Albert Breer reported that New England views Washington as a threat to sign Newton in free agency. Then, in January, ESPN's Adam Schefter said Washington would be "the most natural landing spot" for Newton this offseason.

During the press conference on Wednesday, Rivera made it clear that he and his staff are not going to rush into finding a franchise quarterback. The head coach questioned whether making a big trade to land one would be worth "mortgaging the future," hinting that a potential blockbuster deal for Deshaun Watson might not be in the cards. This past weekend, Washington finished as a runner-up in the Matt Stafford sweepstakes, ruling out a legitimate option there, too.

As of now, Washington only has Alex Smith under contract for next season. Kyle Allen is an exclusive rights free agent, while Taylor Heinicke is a restricted free agent.

What Washington will ultimately do at the position remains unclear. But, if there's one thing to take away from Wednesday's media session, Rivera, Mayhew and Hurney will look at every possible option to address the position — including Newton.