New England Patriots: In Bill We Trust

There is the phrase, “In Bill We Trust”. 

During his twenty plus years in New England, Bill Belichick has been a different breed. The man under the hood has always taken an intelligent approach to building his roster. Belichick is the true epitome of the student of the game. He has the uncanny ability to find something in players we would all assume aren’t worth rostering. 

Belichick has been brilliant during the Patriots dynasty. He drafted and developed the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL in Tom Brady. He has led the Patriots to six Super Bowl championships and has turned the team into $3.8 billion organization. 

Patriots quarterback Cam Newton / via MassLive.com

So why are Patriots fans mixed on the re-signing of quarterback Cam Newton? 

The Newton Numbers

The Patriots bring back Newton on a one-year deal that “could” reach $14 million dollars. Please notice how the word could was underlined and placed in quotations. Now, before Patriots fans begin to react to the $14 million price tag, here is the true break down of the contract. 

When you look at the breakdown of Newton’s deal, paying him $5 million isn’t terrible at all. In fact, if the Patriots decide to sign another quarterback, the $5 million price tag for a back up is more than fair for Newton. 

In addition, heading into NFL Free Agency next week, having Newton under contract allows Belichick to sell his team to prospective players. It is no secret that the Patriots will be in the market for wide receivers and tight ends. New England is expected to use much of their cap space on fixing the offense that ranked 24th in the NFL in offensive yards. The Newton led offense averaged 332.9 yards per game and they were 22nd in yards per play last season. 

The Jimmy Garoppolo Effect

Prior to the announcement of Newton returning to Foxboro, the Patriots “kicked the tires” on Jimmy Garoppolo, per Evan Lazar of CLNS Media. The move never materialized because the 49ers have been firm in their stance that Garoppolo is not available. 

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with former head coach Bill Belichick. Courtesy of NESN.

Despite those claims that Garoppolo is “unavailable” right now that doesn’t mean that sentiment won’t change. The 49ers are reportedly interested in Jets Sam Darnold in a trade. The 49ers are looking for a replacement before moving on from Garoppolo, which makes sense. 

Plan A or Plan B at Quarterback?

There has been a lot of overreaction to the Newton signing in New England. The people who cover the team have all been saying the same thing, this deal does not prevent the Patriots from doing more at quarterback. 

If they’re going to continue to explore the options at quarterback, who exactly is “Plan A” in New England? 

Garoppolo feels like he is the obvious choice at quarterback for Belichick based off their history together. In addition, team reporters won’t stop bringing up his name. Maybe it is for clicks and content, but Garoppolo’s name is simmering in the free agent quarterback fire in Foxboro. 

Whether or not Garoppolo comes to New England remains to be seen. It does appear that Newton is primed and focused more than ever. Newton has been hyping up his return in 2021 and said on his Instagram, “I refuse to let them, but I refuse to let them slip or sleep on me in 2021 — 2021′s savage.”

Newton has been using the term “run it back” which has gained steam within in the team’s locker room. Julian Edelman posted to his Instagram story following the Newton news. 

Julian Edelman / Instagram Story

“In Bill We Trust”

The Patriots did not make a serious financial investment in Newton. They have someone in place who is well respected in the locker room and the league. Belichick can begin to recruit free agents to the Patriots in hopes of erasing a dismal 2020 season and right the ship. 

For over twenty years, Patriots Nation has always been “In Bill We Trust”, some have lost confidence but the overwhelming consensus has stayed loyal. This offseason will test that theory as he looks to bridge the quarterback position while looking for the next great Patriot quarterback. 

Belichick’s resume speaks for itself, “In Bill We Trust” but the clock is starting to tick on that sentiment.

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