It really doesn’t seem to matter what the Chicago Bears do at quarterback. They’re going to get hammered by critics regardless. Such is the reality of making so many bad decisions at the position. More than a few people called on the team to go after veteran Cam Newton when he was released earlier this offseason by the Carolina Panthers. The Bears instead decided to trade for Nick Foles.
A few months later, Newton finally came off the market. Adam Schefter reported the former league MVP inked an incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots. He’ll have a chance to start his career rebound competing to fill the massive void left by Tom Brady. Getting coached by Bill Belichick will certainly help his cause.
Inevitably this has led to speculation the Patriots will be right back in the Super Bowl mix.
At the same time, critics turned right around to call out the Bears for not grabbing Newton when they had their chance. Instead settling for a guy who’s been a backup most of his career. For more money, no less.
So was passing on Cam Newton a bad call?
Look there is no denying that Newton is a physical specimen and only 31-years old. Yet anybody who watched him the past couple of years saw problems. His body has taken a hellacious beating over the years. More than most quarterbacks his age do. That is why injuries ended both his 2018 and 2019 seasons. Sure he’s a former MVP, but that was five years ago.
Then there is the matter of fit. While a tremendous individual talent, Newton is not one of those quarterbacks who can play in any scheme. Much of his success in Carolina was predicated on having a strong, committed rushing attack to lean on. This enabled him to gash defense with run-pass options and play action. He isn’t the type who is at his best when asked to throw 40 times a game.
Don’t believe it? Since 2011, Newton has thrown at least 40 passes in a game 16 times. He’s 420-of-705 for 4,899 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions. That’s good for an 81.16 passer rating. In two seasons under Matt Nagy, Mitch Trubisky has already topped 40 passing attempts in a game six times. It just doesn’t sound like it would be a good fit.
Foles knows the system and knows the coaching staff. He won a Super Bowl in it. If people can dismiss what Newton did the past two years, why can’t it be the same for him? He can play. The Bears know that.