As the Chicago Bears continue their efforts to find a quarterback, one report has the team already talking to the Carolina Panthers.
Through the first two days of NFL Free Agency, the Chicago Bears still don’t have a quarterback. They missed out on Teddy Bridgewater and have still been rumored to be in on Nick Foles and Andy Dalton. Then, on Tuesday, the Carolina Panthers reported they were moving on from Cam Newton.
Just moments later, the Panthers were set to sign quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, making him the face of the franchise in Carolina for the next three years. With that, it was all but confirmed that Newton would be in a different uniform in 2020.
Just 24 hours last, a report confirms that the Bears have been in contact with the Panthers about a trade that could see Newton play in the Windy City in 2020. It makes sense for both sides. He’s got just one-year left on his current contract and the Bears are in win-now mode.
However, keep one thing in mind. The Bears trading for Newton wouldn’t just be a one-year rental. General manager Ryan Pace would need to extend Newton at some point during the 2021 offseason because this is someone who when healthy, is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
Should Newton land in Chicago, he’ll thrive due to guys like Allen Robinson and an elite defense featuring names like Robert Quinn, Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, and more, something he never really had in Carolina.
It’s hard to predict what kind of compensation the Panthers would want for Newton considering they’ve got little to no leverage. On Tuesday, via Instagram, Newton posted that the Panthers were forcing him out of Carolina.
First off, there’s no way that the Panthers are going to get any first-rounders for Newton, The Bears don’t have a first-round pick until 2021 and they’ll need that pick to fill a position that could become a need next offseason.
Second, an elite defense, as mentioned above is something that the Bears can offer that other teams cannot. For so many years in Carolina, Newton was asked to carry the team. In Chicago, he’d be the face of the offense but he wouldn’t have to do all the work in terms of winning games.
The one red flag to consider is this: Newton’s injury history. Due to the current situation of the United States because of COVID-19, the NFL is not allowing teams to bring in players for physicals. This means if the Bears trade for Newton, they’ll be doing so without knowing how healthy he is.
The ball is in Pace’s court at this point. Newton would be an upgrade over any quarterback the Bears have ever had in the Pace era and Pace could save his job beyond 2020 if he’s willing to pull the trigger on a trade that would bring Newton to Chicago.