Amid all the chatter about the New England Patriots’ quarterback position, some may be overlooking the guy who was there for them in 2020.
Sources told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has “done nothing but rave” about Cam Newton and the effort the quarterback put in during the 2020 season. The same sources added that it would not surprise them if the Patriots brought Newton back for 2021.
This is slightly surprising considering how much Newton struggled with the Patriots in 2020. The 31-year-old threw for only 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns against ten interceptions in 15 games, and the Patriots went 7-8 with him starting under center. Newton thinks he knows why he was so mediocre, though, so perhaps a second year with New England would solve some of these problems.
Others have a very different view of how the Patriots’ 2021 quarterback situation will develop. If Belichick really likes Newton this much, though, the chances of a return may be better than previously thought.
Cam Newton got into it with a high school football player at a 7-on-7 event in South Carolina over the weekend, and the youngster who appeared to instigate the verbal spat has since apologized.
Newton was sponsoring a team at the Myrtle Beach event when Jseth Owens, a junior from Perkiomen Valley High School in Pennsylvania, began heckling him for the rough season Newton had with the New England Patriots. Newton responded by repeatedly telling Owens he’s rich and asking to speak with his father. You can see the video here.
On Sunday night, Owens issued an apology on Twitter (via TMZ):
Owens seemed to indicate he only meant to talk a little trash to Newton. He said he “let my competitive side get the best of me” and that he “never meant to humiliate & let anyone down.”
Newton also addressed the incident. He shared a video on Instagram that showed him trying to have a serious conversation with Owens after the two got into it. The conversation ended with Newton chatting with someone who looked like a coach from the high schooler’s tournament team.
Cam Newton thinks he knows why his 2020 season with the New England Patriots was so underwhelming.
Newton tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Week 4, and did not return until Week 6. The quarterback feels that period of time away from the team cost him in terms of preparation and caused him to fall behind in learning the offense and getting in sync with his teammates.
“I was one of the first football players to catch it, and it happened so fast,” Newton said on Brandon Marshall’s “I Am Athlete” podcast, via Christopher Price of the Boston Globe. “When I came back, that’s where the lack of an offseason and the lack of time in the system really showed itself. I was behind and I was thinking too much.
“The offense kept going and I was stagnant for two weeks. It was all new terminology. I wasn’t just trying to learn a system for what it was, I was learning a 20-year system in two months.”
In three games prior to testing positive, Newton had completed 68 percent of his passes and threw for 714 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. In 12 games the rest of the way, he threw for only 1,943 yards, six touchdowns, and eight interceptions while completing about 65 percent of his passes. Neither set of numbers is great, but the pre-COVID stats are slightly better.
Cam Newton took part in a youth football camp over the weekend as he faces an uncertain NFL future, and the former MVP probably did not expect to have to deal with a heckler. Unfortunately, he did.
A kid who looked like he was about high school age began chirping at Newton on the sideline and telling him he’s a free agent. Newton clapped back by reminding the young man he is rich, to which the kid replied, “You about to be poor.” Newton also asked, “Where’s your dad?”
Neither Newton nor the young heckler wanted to back down. You can see the video below, but beware that it contains some inappropriate language:
Newton certainly is rich, and he will likely be just fine even if he doesn’t find a job in 2021. He has already made more than $122 million on the field alone.
All that said, this clearly isn’t the brightest time in Newton’s career. One NFL insider seems to think he has at least one starting job waiting for him, but that remains to be seen after the way he played with the New England Patriots in 2020.
It has been both reported and widely assumed that Cam Newton will not return to the New England Patriots next season. But now that it suddenly seems like the Pats could have trouble attracting free agents, is there a scenario where Bill Belichick could give Newton another shot?
Michael Giardi of NFL Network was asked on Monday if the Patriots will consider bringing Newton back, and the reporter said he would not rule it out. The rationale is that New England did not sign Newton until June last year, which gave him minimal time to learn a complicated offense while juggling coronavirus restrictions. Giardi also noted how few weapons the Patriots gave Newton to work with, especially after Julian Edelman went down with an injury.
“Maybe if they look back on what they did this past season, they’ll decide, ‘We didn’t do enough for Cam to make Cam as comfortable as possible in this offense,'” Giardi said.
There’s no denying that the Patriots put Newton in a tough position. Very few quarterbacks would thrive with Jakobi Meyers as their top wide receiver and no legitimate pass-catching option at the tight end position. That said, a poor supporting cast wasn’t Newton’s only issue.
Newton finished the season with 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He even looked physically limited at times, which is concerning given his history with shoulder problems.
We have heard reports that make it seem like the Patriots could have trouble trading for a starting quarterback or attracting free agents. If their only option is to draft a QB, perhaps they will bring back Newton for another season and see if he can improve in a bridge role.
Cam Newton did very little this season to prove he can still play at a high level, but is there a chance he could land another starting job in 2021?
ESPN’s Adam Schefter seems to think so. It is unlikely that Newton will return to the New England Patriots next season, and Schefter already has a potential landing spot in mind for the former MVP. The reporter thinks Newton could be a good fit for Washington, and he believes the contract will be respectable, too.
Adam Schefter on @TheGregHillShow: "The most natural spot for Cam [Newton] would be Washington if he's going to leave New England."
As for what that contract might look like: "I am going to guess, two years with incentives, $40-50 million."
Schefter is obviously very informed, but it’s hard to envision Newton getting that kind of money. The Patriots paid Newton the veteran minimum with incentives, and he responded with 2,657 yards passing, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The contract was viewed as a prove-it deal, and all Newton really proved is that he is nowhere near the player he used to be.
Granted, the Patriots didn’t exactly surround Newton with weapons. They have arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL. But we can’t forget that they were the only team to offer Newton a clear path to a starting job. Washington has moved on from Dwayne Haskins and Alex Smith’s health remains a concern, but Newton doesn’t seem like the answer — even if he did show crazy commitment with his daily schedule this season.
Newton obviously has a history with Ron Rivera, who coached him for years in Carolina. That could make Washington a sensible landing spot, but the contract figures seem unrealistic.
Cam Newton has had nothing but positive things to say about Bill Belichick this season, and that has continued even after the quarterback may have played his final game with the New England Patriots.
Newton was asked during his appearance on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” Monday what surprised him most about Belichick as he got to know the coach. The former MVP spoke about how “cool” Belichick is.
“I really thought it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, he’s going to be that sour principal that you never want to see in the hallways.’ He’s so cool, man,” Newton said, via WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “He’s a guy who, you know, for what it’s worth he seems like that guy you just want to have a drink with. Just sit down and like, ‘Hey man, can I kick it?’ You know what I am saying, ‘Let’s chat.’ I bet he would be so dope at a bar. I mean, he’s got stories out the wazoo.”
Newton may have had a terrible season on the field, but he has enjoyed his time working with Belichick. He has maintained a positive attitude all year and bought into the “Patriot Way” even though the results were disappointing.
Cam Newton has been a model professional with the Patriots this season and has clearly impressed Bill Belichick with his work ethic. There’s no ignoring how poor his play has been, however, which is why the former MVP’s tenure with New England is almost certainly going to be brief.
Newton is not expected to return to the Patriots next season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on “Sunday NFL Countdown.”
“Both sides enjoyed their relationship, but both sides expect that it will take them to a different place and a different direction in 2021, with Cam Newton likely moving on and the Patriots in search of a new quarterback for next season,” Schefter said.
That is hardly a surprise. Belichick has stuck with Newton as his starter all season, but that says more about the other quarterbacks on the roster. While he has had limited offensive weapons to work with, Newton has been one of the worst players at his position in the NFL this season. He has just 2,415 yards and five touchdown passes compared to 10 interceptions in 14 games.
Newton will likely have trouble finding a starting job this offseason. The Patriots were really the only team that offered him that opportunity in 2020, and he did nothing to prove he is still capable of playing at a high level. Although, his contributions to the team were recognized in other ways. Perhaps that will benefit Newton as he hits free agency again.
That’s a crazy schedule, mainly because of how long his day his, how little sleep he gets, and how early he rises each morning.
Newton says that it becomes extremely frustrating to work that hard and then not see it translate into positive results on the field.
"You can kind of understand the frustration I do have when I don't have the outcome, because I'm sacrificing so much. Talking to a person who ain't seen his kids in three months." pic.twitter.com/XvaUAtn096
This schedule helps explain why Newton’s work ethic has been praised since he’s been with New England. The man took a deal for the veteran minimum, is working his tail off, but he’s still not playing very well.
He’s earned tons of respect for the way he’s handled the season. It’s just unfortunate for him it’s not translating on the field.