We know what you’re thinking, Cam Newton to the Steelers is a terrible idea. Here us out though, it’s not as bad as you may think. At this point in the off-season any hope of this team landing a big fish at quarterback is gone. Both Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers have secured their teams for 2022. The Deshaun Watson saga looks like it could go on for another full year before we get any sort of resolution. What’s left will be a group of underwhelming free agents, or trades for high priced quarterbacks who continue to disappoint.
When it comes to the draft, the Steelers look like they may strike out as well. All signs lead to the Seahawks going quarterback now with the ninth pick. Some have speculated the Panthers may go that position at six, and the Commanders at eleven. This means Pittsburgh would have to trade up to get a top tier quarterback in this draft. With so many holes to fill, trading any assets away is a bad idea for the Steelers this off-season.
The best possible path for the Pittsburgh Steelers is to find a cheaper free agent, who could possibly have some significant upside. We have already gone through candidates like Mitch Trubisky, and Marcus Mariota in precious posts. Steelers 2022 quarterback: Why not Mitch Trubisky?
Both those players fit what the Steelers are looking for in terms of mobility and potential upside. Unfortunately both these players will also command contracts in the $10-$15 million per season range for their free agent contracts. https://dknation.draftkings.com/2022/3/6/22964245/mitchell-trubisky-rumors-teams-interested-salary-news-panthers-steelers-commanders-giants-broncos
Enter our idea for Cam Newton. Newton has many of the same qualities that Trubisky and Mariota bring, at a fraction of the cost. His last contract with the New England Patriots was a one year, six million dollar deal. Newton’s value will be much lower than that for the 2022 season.
On the field, Cam Newton has been less than stellar in the last few seasons. There are extenuating circumstances however. Signing in New England late in 2020, and in the middle of the Covid pandemic would be hard on any quarterback. The Patriots are known for having perhaps the most complicated offense in the entire league. Not many players could have succeeded under those circumstances, and Newton predictably struggled in his time in New England.
Having said that, Cam Newton’s 2020 season had a lot of what the Steelers would like in their quarterback in 2022. A game managing quarterback who can extend plays with his legs, while not killing the team with turnovers. Newton ran for just shy of 600 yards, with 12 rushing touchdowns that season. All told, he had 3,300 all purpose yards, 20 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. Give a veteran quarterback like Cam Newton a full off-season, without a world wide pandemic, and it is not crazy to think he could even improve on those numbers. Not to mention the Steelers keeping the majority of their cap space, and all their draft picks to improve this roster dramatically.
There will be no perfect solution to the Steelers quarterback situation in 2022. There are however many ways where this team could really damage themselves going forward. A bad contract, or failed draft pick could set Pittsburgh back years. A much better option would be to sign Cam Newton, and if it doesn’t work out address the position again in 2023. It’s just the kind of low risk, moderately high reward move that is perfect for where the Steelers are at this time.