Even though Cam Newton struggled at times during his first season with the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft decided to bring him back for another season in 2021. The Patriots re-signed Newton to a 1-year contract that is worth close to 14 million dollars when all incentives are considered (The Athletic). Was this move by the Pats smart or not smart?
The Case for Bringing Back Cam
There are a few reasons why bringing back Newton at quarterback makes sense for the Patriots. The first reason is that Bill Belichick really believes that Newton can get the Patriots back to the playoffs. 2020 was a weird year for the entire world and even the Patriots seemed out of sorts at times. Newton even missed a game due to Covid-19. Belichick is willing to chalk 2020 up as an aberration and he believes that Newton can play at a higher level in 2021.
Another reason that bringing Newton back makes sense is because of Belichick’s age. The six-time Super Bowl champion coach is about to turn 69 years old and starting over with a new young quarterback does not sound like a winning recipe. No one knows how long Belichick plans on coaching but the smart money says he would like to win and win now!
The last reason why the re-signing of Newton is smart for the Patriots is Newton’s age. The 6-5 245 pounder will only be 32 years old when the 2021 NFL season begins. If former Patriot quarterback Tom Brady has taught us anything, it is that age is only a number. At 32, Newton could have several good years of football left in him so it couldn’t hurt the Pats to let Newton be under center for one more season and see if he can get them back to the playoffs.
The Case Against Bringing Back Newton
There are a few reasons why re-signing Newton could be considered an unwise decision. Firstly, Newton’s throwing ability has not looked the same ever since he underwent shoulder surgery back in 2019. The former Heisman Trophy winner simply cannot push the ball down the field the way he used to back in his glory days with the Carolina Panthers. Even though Newton is still fairly young, his NFL career has been riddled with several injuries. Hopefully the Pats did a full physical exam before signing Newton on for another season.
The final reason why Newton’s re-signing may be looked at as questionable is that this year’s NFL Draft is loaded with quarterback talent (Boston.com). The Pats have the 14th overall selection in the first round. Hot prospects like former SEC quarterbacks Mac Jones or Kyle Trask may be a better fit than Newton at this point.
A Final Word
There are lots of reasons both for and against bringing back Cam Newton at quarterback in Foxboro. At this point all those reasons are now moot since the deal has already been done. Newton’s new contract does not necessarily mean that he will be the starting QB. The Patriots may still take a QB in the draft as a contingency plan.