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Monday Overreactions: Maybe the Lions should call Cam Newton

It couldn’t be worse right?

Georgia v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

I am on record saying Cam Newton is done. I’m on record saying that less than a week ago. In this week's Monday Overactions, I sliding over to the “maybe” section on this one. Let’s talk about it.

Jared Goff just isn’t it. It’s clear as day at this point. The Detroit Lions cannot win with him. At this point, the Lions can barely score with him. On Sunday, the Lions scored 11 points against the Bengals. All 11 points were scored with the game already decided and the Bengals already in prevent. Goff doesn’t have it anymore, and now I’m not sure if he ever did.

You know who did have it at one point, though? Former NFL MVP Cam Newton. He definitely had it. Now, for a myriad of reasons, Newton is a free agent. After taking a look at the free agent pool for quarterbacks, if the Lions chose to go out and get a guy, Newton is the best they can do. That is, unless you want the Lions to be the next stop for Blake Bortles or you want to give Jeff Driskel another shot.

The Lions could do a lot with Newton that they can’t do with Goff. Newton can move on his feet, for example. Newton ran for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Patriots in 2020. Goff has 386 rushing yards in his entire career. That opens up the Lions offense and allows them to probably get out of the sack trouble that Goff has been in during key moments.

Newton has everything on his resume that Lions fans love. An NFL MVP trophy, multiple Pro Bowls, regular season success, playoff success and one hell of a wardrobe. Plus the $3.5 million deal he had with the Patriots shows that Newton wouldn’t be a very expensive option for the Lions.

In a year where Lions fans are begging for any kind of entertainment, Cam Newton is Mr. Entertainment. I totally get why Lions fans want this guy on the team. I’m grinning just thinking about all the fun sound bites. Getting Cam Newton and Dan Campbell press conference every week! Why not just do it? Let’s get in the rocket and let’s shoot to the moon!

Why this is an overreaction

Alright, now I’m going to crash that rocket into the sun. Sorry, Lions fans, here’s why you shouldn’t do it. Cam Newton probably is done. He has been on a downward spiral every season since that MVP year. The Panthers decided to move on from him in 2020 after injuries shortened both his 2019 and 2020 seasons. They released him after no team was willing to trade for him.

While he did run for 12 touchdowns for the Patriots last season, he threw for just eight and actually threw more interceptions with 10. There’s a lot of football fans that will say Newton’s struggles in the pass game came from the Patriots lack if talented receivers. So I fail to see how Newton will do better with the Lions’ group if that’s the case.

Newton was also cut by the Patriots after training camp in favor of Mac Jones. That was seven weeks ago and no team has even had Newton in for a workout. There’s some belief that Newton’s vaccination status has something to do with that. He’s vaccinated now, and teams don’t seem to be knocking down the door for him.

The biggest thing going against the Lions signing Cam Newton is that the Lions just aren’t looking to make a change.

Also, what benefit does a short-term upgrade like Newton actually do for this team? Maybe win one or two more games? Newton is 32, won’t be a part of this team’s rebuild, and will cost money that the Lions need to just to keep their injured roster afloat. So by replacing Goff with Newton, you essentially end Goff’s career in Detroit after just six games, and you’re in no better place for the future at quarterback. But, hey, maybe you’ll sell a few extra tickets and go 3-14 instead of 2-15.

So that’s that. The Lions are, at least right now, planning to go forward with Jared Goff. Perhaps they feel what some hate to feel. That it’s really hard to fully judge Jared Goff due to the oft-injured offensive line and a receiving corps that is as rag tag as possible.

I don’t like it anymore than you do Lions fans. But, right now it appears the Lions are just going to have to play with the cards they’ve been dealt.