The New England Patriots releasing Cam Newton resulted in a trove of questions about where the former NFL MVP might take his talents next. You can cross one connection off the list.
The Washington Football Team made most lists of potential landing spots for Newton, given his relationship with head coach Ron Rivera from their time together in Carolina. Rivera, however, said the team is set at quarterback.
“It did pop up on our radar,” Rivera said of Newton being released, per the team’s official transcript. “But just so you know, Ryan Fitzpatrick is our starting quarterback. Okay, so that’s where we are. We have three guys we like that all came to camp, did a nice job for us and we’re going to go forward with it.”
That’s a fun way to announce that FitzMagic is the starter, even though it’s been evident since he signed a $10 million contract this offseason. Rivera had previously declined to say the words “Ryan Fitzpatrick is our starting quarterback,” so hearing the perfunctory statement is meaningful in a sort of box-checking way.
Taylor Heinicke will serve as the backup and Kyle Allen the No. 3.
As for Newton, the presence of Fitzpatrick on the roster likely precluded the former Patriots QB from signing with Washington. The Football Team doesn’t need a veteran who would only serve to split the locker room potentially. If anything, the club could look to get younger at the position next offseason.
It’s even more notable that when Washington had the chance to try and sign Newton, they declined to do so each of the past two offseasons. Instead of chasing Newton, Washington chose to give Fitzpatrick $10 million this spring. It was apparent then that Rivera had no designs on a reunion with Newton. Tuesday’s quote simply stated the plan out loud — much like naming FitzMagic the starter.
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