It’s clear the Cleveland Browns are looking at all options when it comes to their quarterback space, and former MVP Cam Newton is a name that remains associated with the AFC North contender.
The Browns are expected to add another quarterback to the roster if Deshaun Watson is suspended “more than a few games,” according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. She named Newton and former Browns QB Garrett Gilbert as top options.
“There aren’t many free-agent quarterbacks available, but the list includes Garrett Gilbert, who played for the Browns in 2019-20, and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton,” Cabot wrote on July 19.
The Browns traded former No. 1 overall winner Baker Mayfield for the Panthers and would rely on veteran Jacoby Brissett to start if Watson is out.
The Browns signed Brissett to a deal shortly after sending former backup case Keenum to the Buffalo Bills. He has rushed for 7,742 yards, 36 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in his NFL career and is a 14th-23rd starter.
Behind Brissett on the depth chart is Joshua Dobbs, who has completed just 10 of 17 pass attempts for 45 yards and one interception. As Cabot noted, any new quarterback coming in would likely bump Dobbs down one spot on the depth chart, putting him in practice team territory.
Newton has started just 22 games over the past three seasons. He was released by the Panthers after a 2019 campaign in which he played two games due to a foot injury. He signed the following season as a free agent with the New England Patriots but didn’t look like his old self, going 7-8 and throwing just eight touchdowns for 10 interceptions.
He remained a free agent through November of last season before re-signing with Carolina. He ended up starting five games but going winless in those contests, throwing four touchdowns and five interceptions. Newton added five more touchdowns on the ground.
Despite his struggles, Newton, 33, is confident he can still be a starter in the NFL.
“I said it, ‘There’s no 32 guys better than me,'” Newton said during an appearance on The Pivot Podcast. “Apples to apples, oranges to oranges, comparing certain situations to certain situations, and if you think I couldn’t be on someone’s team right now, you’re a fucking idiot.”
The idea of the Browns adding another quarterback depends on what type of suspension the NFL decides to give Watson. The league is considering between two and eight games for the former pass leader, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
“The final penalty will most likely not be a year. The currently expected range is between two and eight games,” Florio wrote on July 19.
But even if the suspension is in place, further developments could follow, with either the NFL or Watson facing the decision to appeal the verdict. That being said, Cabot reported that Waton’s camp is confident he will see the field this year after missing all of last season.