With everyone adjusting to a new normal, Cam Newton has started to realize a starting job in a new home might not be in the cards for him -- at least not immediately.
The calendar has turned to May and Newton still is waiting for the right landing spot to open up. Reality has had ample time to set in and force Newton to realize that his best route to employment will likely require accepting a backup role.
He's open to such a role, provided it's the right place, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed.
Rapoport's report is a significant change in communication from Newton's camp, which had maintained he wanted a legitimate chance to start wherever he signed. The problem with that: There's really only one team with a serious opening for a starter -- New England -- which has demonstrated both in free agency inactivity and a draft in which the Patriots didn't select a quarterback that it was proceeding forward with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.
Sure, we'd love to see what Newton could do as part of Bill Belichick's team. It just seems less likely, unless he'd be OK with taking on a backup role.
The backup role opens up some interesting possibilities. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert recently said the team is content with Mason Rudolph as its backup, but the addition of Newton would provide the Steelers with a legitimate option in the event Ben Roethlisberger suffers another injury. There also seemed to be a fit in Los Angeles with the Chargers before Tom Telesco selected Oregon QB Justin Herbert sixth overall.
We could do this for a while. But the key difference is that Newton is willing to think openly about his immediate future. If the financial side matches up with that approach -- think along the lines of contracts signed by Jameis Winston (New Orleans) and Andy Dalton (Dallas) -- we could see a new destination for Newton before long.