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PFF predicts Bengals to make ridiculous signing in free agency

What’s better than one Heisman Trophy winning quarterback? Two Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks of course!

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Cincinnati Bengals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

NFL free agency is going to remain different in 2021 from how it normally is. Due to a loss in total revenue from the NFL, the salary cap is projected to be considerably lower for next year. This means that every team has to be much wiser when dishing out cash this upcoming offseason.

Bengals fans have their own aspirations in regards to how the team should use its cap space, and the folks at Pro Football Focus has a...bizarre prediction.

In their recently released top 50 impending free agent rankings, PFF has Cam Newton as the 15th ranked free agent and predicts that he will sign a one-year, $20 million deal with Cincinnati.

He may not be the MVP-caliber quarterback he once was, but he’s made it clear he still deserves to start in this league. There have been some rough outings, but given his circumstances (new team, truncated offseason, worst WR/TE group in the NFL, and contracting COVID-19) he has also performed admirably for stretches of games.

Prediction: Bengals sign Newton to a fully guaranteed one-year, $20 million contract.

So...let’s digest this from all angles.

On one hand, the Bengals signing Cam Newton to start while Joe Burrow recovers from his torn ACL would make sense. We don’t know when Burrow will return in full form; it may not be until a month or so into the season or longer. If the Bengals want to be competitive, they need someone at least close to Burrow’s level at quarterback, and Newton has impressed in his first season with the depleted New England Patriots.

The logic pretty much stops there, though.

Newton has shown to still be good enough and still has a few years left in his early 30s; the Patriots letting him leave wouldn’t make a lot of sense. And even if Newton does escape Bill Belichick’s grasp, why would he decide to go to a team that would only need him for a year—and not even a full one? Once Burrow does make a full recovery, he’s going back onto the field.

The financials make no sense either. The Bengals may end up investing in a backup quarterback this offseason, and whomever that may be, he won’t sniff anywhere close to $20M. Newton may end up being worth that or even more, but the Bengals aren’t opening their wallets for it. And fully guaranteed? Hah!

Cincinnati may end up making another splash or two this upcoming offseason, but it will not involve another starting quarterback.