Ron Rivera: Circumstances didn’t allow for team to go after Cam Newton

Washington could have signed Cam Newton. It didn’t.

Instead, Ron Rivera, who spent nine years with Newton in Carolina, traded a fifth-round choice to the Panthers for Kyle Allen to back up Dwayne Haskins.

So Newton signed with the Patriots on Sunday, giving him a chance to win the starting job.

“If the circumstances had allowed us, I would not have had an issue with that,” Rivera said on 670 The Score on Monday, via NBCSportsWashington.com. “I would’ve been very confident and comfortable going after him and bringing him to be part of what we’re doing here.”

Haskins, 23, has only seven starts, but Washington drafted him to be its quarterback of the present and the future.

Rivera didn’t want Newton to be a progress-stopper for Haskins, whom the coach said they will show patience.

“That’s the benefit of being a new head coach is that we can be patient,” Rivera said. “We can put these guys through workouts and get to know what we have and feel good about it or don’t feel good about it. Then we have to go out and make some changes, but until we get that opportunity to know what we have, it would’ve been very hard to bring a guy in who’s had such a solid career, who was a league MVP at one time and expect the young guy to get his chances to grow.”