Cam Newton On the Line: Should the Chicago Bears Take the Bait?

The 2020 NFL offseason is loaded with quarterbacks who will most likely be wearing a new uniform come fall. While Tom Brady has drawn all quarterback-needy teams attention, there is another well-established name that could be on the move: Cam Newton.

After spending the 2019 season on the bench due to a nagging foot injury, there has been quite a lot of speculation as to whether or not the franchise will keep the former MVP or trade him away. His health is an important factor: as reported by Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic. The Panthers expect Newton (foot) to pass a physical and be ready to return to football activity in March. His successors, Kyle Allen and Will Grier III, have yet prove they are ready to take over as starting quarterback, but Newton is 30 and heading into his prime and his last year of contract, where he is owed close to $19 million.

The Carolina Panthers may decide to move Newton if he’s 100% healthy, and a team that should at least keep him on the radar is the Chicago Bears. At full strength, Newton is one of the toughest guys at his position. Known for the plays he can make as a rusher, Newton has also almost accumulated 30,000 passing yards in his career. With the disaster that was Mitchell Trubisky’s third season, the Bears need to bring in someone who can truly compete for QB1.

What’s the Cost?

Now, what’s a trade for Newton going to look like? It won’t be cheap, that’s for sure. Chicago could send Trubisky if they commit to his fifth year, but that move could cause an uproar in Chicago’s front office, and the Panthers may not want to utilize Trubisky as a bridge QB.

Realistically, a trade for Newton will involve some serious draft capital, something the Bears don’t have this year. Chicago has no selections in the 1st or 3rd round of this year’s draft. They could move the 43rd and 50th picks, but that may not be a good asking price for the Panthers, who believe they can win in their NFC South division with Christian McCaffrey and new head coach Matt Rhule. They could fork over their 2021 1st round pick. The question is, do the Bears want to lose even more draft capital this year? After a lackluster performance from their small rookie class, Chicago may want to hold onto whatever they can get in terms of picks.

Show Us the Money

Let’s hypothetically say a trade is in place. The Bears would take a salary cap hit of roughly $21 million. Even with Kyle Fuller adjusting his contract with void years and Kyle Long retiring, there’s not a lot of money that can be forked over to Newton, especially if the Bears want to retain guys like inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, or make other free agency splashes like sign tight end Austin Hooper.

It could be down if Ryan Pace pushes the numbers. Cutting or trading cornerback Prince Amukamara saves roughly $10 million. Sending away edge rusher Leonard Floyd would have a similar impact. If the Bears do commit to Mitch Trubisky’s fifth-year option, however, it will cost them roughly $24 million.

It doesn’t seem like the stars are aligned for the Bears to truly go after Newton. However, Ryan Pace got Khalil Mack and Crazier things have happened in sports. So, if Newton’s on the line come March 18th, the Bears should at least nibble at the potential.

Featured Image: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

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