The Detroit Lions should not sign Cam Newton. At least not yet anyway.
During (and after) the Lions embarrassing 34-11 beatdown by the Bengals, Lions fans began to mention the 2015 NFL MVP on social media platforms such as Twitter along with various Lions’ fan groups on Facebook.
And it’s for a good reason. That reason is Jared Goff.
In four consecutive games, Goff has failed to register a first-half touchdown pass. In fairness to Goff, he’s not playing with the targets he expected, but that’s not the issue. The Lions’ offense has stalled between his turnovers in the red zone and his inability to connect with open targets. Even though the organization is in the midst of a rebuild, an 0-6 start wasn’t the projection.
Not even in the slightest. If anything, fans expected at 1-2 wins by now, not zero.
That is where Cam Newton comes in.
Several days ago, reports surfaced that Newton, 32, received the COVID-19 vaccination. Newton’s refusal to get the vaccination played a significant part in the New England Patriots releasing him. While he was away from the team due to his vaccination status, it allowed the Patriots to get a closer look at rookie Mac Jones.
And because of the extended reps Jones received, the Patriots felt comfortable moving on from Newton quicker than planned. It wasn’t that Newton played poorly in comparison. Heck, there was no tape on both this year. It’s the fact that they drafted Jones in April to be the future face of the franchise––something Newton was never going to be. So why not go ahead and expedite those plans with Newton, at the time, refusing to get the vaccine. It was a no-brainer.
So what does this have to do with Cam Newton and the Detroit Lions? Well, let’s revisit the fanbase talk. Some fans (and media analysts) began to wonder if Newton was under center in Detroit, what would their record be? Would they still be winless? Would they be 2-4? Heck, could they be undefeated?
It’s a very intriguing question because Newton still has something in the tank even at his age and injury history.
In 15 games last season, the Patriots were 7-8 with Cam Newton starting. He threw for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Newton also ran for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns. His passing stats aren’t anything to write home about. They’re average-below average numbers.
Newton didn’t have any weapons to throw to, which is a problem he’d face in Detroit if the Lions signed. However, the difference is Newton’s mobility. The rushing stats are in the previous paragraph. He blows Goff out of the water in that category. His scrambling ability makes him a threat Detroit hasn’t seen and could open up a stagnant offense.
That’s where it stops for Newton being that much better than Goff, though, because when you compare both players passing stats last season against one another, they’re neck and neck. Both quarterbacks were slightly above a 65% completion rate. Along with that, their passing yards per attempt was 7.2 apiece. They both had double-digit interceptions. Lastly, both didn’t complete a pass over 60 yards (50 yards for Newton vs. 60 yards for Goff.)
So with everything laid out, what incentive do the Detroit Lions have in signing Cam Newton this season?
Honestly, there isn’t one at this moment. Bringing in Newton will do nothing but create a quarterback controversy that isn’t needed. While some fans may not want to admit it, but the Detroit Lions are looking at finishing the season with the NFL’s worst record. And this means that they are also facing another top 10 draft pick next year. Signing Newton will hinder that because, with his skill set, he can win the Lions some games.
However, signing Newton after this season isn’t a bad idea.
The Lions cannot enter next season with Jared Goff under center. He’s all but lost this fanbase, and by the looks of it, he’s starting to lose his coaches as well. By now, everyone has seen the comments Anthony Lynn and Dan Campbell made over the past week.
The crop of quarterbacks in next year’s draft isn’t the greatest. And while it looks like they’ll have a top pick, using that on a quarterback isn’t wise. The Lions would regret drafting a Bo Nix or a Spencer Rattler. A smart move would be to cut ties with Jared Goff and bring in Newton based on everything mentioned.
Right now, no one is taking a shot at him. And if anyone follows Newton, they know he’s not only a leader but a very prideful man. He’ll come to Detroit with the chip on his shoulder that many expected Goff to have.
Bringing him in for a workout at this moment will only affect the confidence of Jared Goff, but who knows, it could be the catalyst to light a fire under him and make him play better. The options and ideas are endless to ponder. In the end, Cam Newton should be a Detroit Lion but not this season.
Follow Kory Woods on Twitter at KoryEWoods.