The Chargers will be the second tenant in the new home of SoFi Stadium that will open in September, but signing Cam Newton they could have made them the first team in Inglewood.
Head coach Anthony Lynn told reporters that the team kicked the tires on Newton, but decided to take a pass instead.
If this non-decision had been made while the team was playing in Carson’s 30,000 seat soccer stadium perhaps it would have been a non story.
However, the Chargers have an identity crisis that lingers back from their final days in San Diego and since they relocated to Southern California.
Bottom line is the Rams are the signature team here and although both teams are very close in talent, they are light years apart in popularity.
It was recently disclosed the Rams owners went to the NFL to borrow another $500 million to complete the construction on the new saucer that is now estimated to cost closer to $6 billion instead $5 billion.
Rams tickets are going through the roof and the opening day with the Dallas Cowboys will be a sellout if fans are allowed to attend the game.
In the meanwhile, the Chargers are not having success in selling their season seats, although there is no question the entertainment value of NFL will win out in the end it doesn’t help the fan base.
This is a team that needs a jolt to go along with their bolt and if Cam Newton is healthy then he could have certainly provided that.
Of course that is the multi million dollar question. Is Cam Newton healthy?
Has the once darling of the NFL taken one hit too many?
The Chargers have undoubtedly said yes.
So they whiffed on his 182 touchdowns, 4,806 yards rushing and 58 rushing touchdowns in favor of veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Justin Herbert.
“Absolutely, Cam is a tremendous quarterback,” Lynn recently told CBS Sports Radio. “He’s been MVP of this league, he’s led his team to the Super Bowl and he’s healthy now from what I hear. Cam is going to be on somebody’s roster and he’s going to help somebody win a few games, but yeah, we did take a look at that, sure.”
Coach Lynn pointed to the confidence he has in Herbert the No. 6 overall which is why the Chargers to shy away from making a leap with Newton.
Taylor was in a similar position in Cleveland, holding the ball until Baker Mayfield was ready.
He’s always been steady, but not spectacular.
Herbert is not expected to be rushed like Mayfield was in Cleveland, but he is an injury away from being the starter of this football team and Taylor is capable of being injured just like he was in Cleveland.
“I feel really good about the quarterback room that I have,” Lynn said. “With Tyrod Taylor, Easton Stick — those are guys that a lot of people don’t talk about, but he was a Division I AA — he won like three national championships. He’s a hell of a leader, hell of a professional and I think he has a bright future in this league one day.”
All of that may be true, but if the Chargers flop in their first season in the new stadium and Newton emerges somewhere else and shines, this will be a decision that will haunt the team for years to come.
This is a team that has to win out the gate and I don’t mean just games, but also fans.
This is a team that needs a purpose connection to their new community.
No one is sure that Newton was that player, but the Chargers damn sure need one and perhaps he’s already on the roster.
There is no one on this current roster that resonates like Newton. Love him or hate him, he manages to gain your attention.