I felt that eye roll you just did reading this one, but let’s have some fun.
One thing working against this is Newton’s willingness to come in and back up Mayfield or Trask. He gave a list of quarterbacks he’d be willing to do that for and neither of those guys was on it — understandably so. A deal with Newton would likely be centered on whether or not he wins the starting job and wouldn’t last beyond camp if that wasn’t the case.
That being said, there’s a real possibility that he wouldn’t be backing them up in Tampa Bay, rather they’d be backing him up after he won the starting job in camp.
There might not be a situation like Tampa Bay elsewhere in the league that presents Newton with such a clean shot to win the starting role. Without Tom Brady, nor a clear succession plan to lean on, it’s a wide-open competition for who can be the starter next season. Mayfield is only due $4 million (the other $4.5 are incentives) and Trask has taken nine snaps in his entire career.
Newton has a chance to put his money where his mouth is and prove he truly does have what it takes to be a starter in the league. If he can’t beat out Mayfield or Trask, then his argument about being better than more than half the quarterbacks in the league is forever debunked.
if he wins the role, though, he instantly makes the Bucs interesting if not sneakily competitive in the NFC South. Let’s assume the defense bounces back the way the front office is betting on, Newton quietly makes the Bucs an extreme sleeper to make a Super Bowl run. There are more caveats in that than worth counting, but a universe exists where that happens — why not make it this one?
Or, why not try and at least give it a try? If it works then the Bucs are Super Bowl contenders and if it doesn’t they’re in a position to get a high draft pick and took a big swing to try and be competitive.