Cam Newton Predicts Tom Brady Will Be A Charger ... Says Shawne Merriman

Cam Newton believes Tom Brady will be an L.A. Charger next year ... this according to Shawne Merriman, who says the Panthers QB predicted it to him at the Super Bowl this month!

"He thinks that Tom is going to come to the Chargers," Merriman tells TMZ Sports.

Of course, it really could happen ... L.A. just gave Philip Rivers the boot, and TB12 is a free agent.

Merriman, though, says he doesn't see it going down that way -- the Chargers legend jokingly says he HATES Tom -- and tells us the right fit to replace Philip is actually Cam himself!!!

"Tom's a great quarterback, he's just not a great quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers," Merriman says ... "I think if you're going to move from a different direction from Phillip, you go in and get somebody that could do a little bit more -- a little more athletic."

Merriman added, "I just brought up one name, I think Cam Newton is a -- could be a really good choice. Even for the short term. And, you can still go draft."

But, the ex-Bolts superstar doesn't see either Brady or Cam ultimately coming to the Chargers ... telling us he doesn't see the Panthers letting Newton go.

As for his old teammate, Rivers ... Merriman tells us he's sure the guy will land on his feet somewhere -- saying he knows of at least NINE teams that could use Rivers as their starter in 2020.

Click here for info about our online advertising practices.