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The Next Patriots Quarterback: Should Cam Newton come back to New England?

Who is on top of Bill Belichick’s quarterback wishlist? Patriots fans should expect that list to be long with copious amounts of names on it.

Heading into the offseason, the New England Patriots will be in the market for another quarterback. Following one season with Cam Newton under center, it’s time for both sides to move on. 

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that sentiment prior to the win over the Jets last Sunday. 

“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,” said Schefter. 

Schefter has since backtracked on that comment but it’s believed Newton is leaving Foxboro.

The new league year will begin in March, there will be plenty of options for the team to choose from.

Belichick could draft a quarterback, they’ll be options in free agency as well. There will be players with expiring contracts and there is always a possibility of snagging someone released or even a trade. 

The Patriots Quarterback List: Cam Newton

When Newton signed his one-year deal worth $1 million, he was banking on himself for a big 2021 payday. His 2020 season he threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions with a 82.9 rating. It’s hard to believe that the Patriots will pay Newton for the longterm. 

They’ll be suitors for Newton and some NFL franchise will give him a big payday.

Following an 7-8 record, where he missed one game due to the coronavirus, he did have some positives this season. He ran the ball 137 times for 597 yards and 12 touchdowns. Newton did average 4.3 yards per carry, but it was clear he needed to run more because his passing game is below average.

Cam Newton struggles to make the easy throws. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The Patriots run heavy old school offense was a byproduct of the fact Newton couldn’t stretch the field with his arm. The offense was led by the quarterback and a committee of running backs. Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead, James White and Damien Harris were a heavy part of the anemic Patriots offense.

The Blame Game: It’s Not All Newton’s Fault

To place the full blame on Newton for the Patriots offensive woes isn’t fair to the quarterback. The Patriots wide receiver corps is below league average, Damiere Byrd and Jakobi Meyers played well but weren’t game changers. Neither tight end who was drafted in the NFL Draft, Devin Asiasi or Dalton Keane made any impact in 2020.

Ryan Izzo played 12 games, he had 13 receptions for 199 yards with zero touchdowns this past season. The team has a lot to address this offseason as they retool or rebuild for the future. 

Newton is not Tom Brady where he was able to elevate the players around him. Newton never elevated anyone around him and when the Patriots needed the passing game, he could never find it.

Cam Newton Should Not Be Back

The Patriots were able to get a former No. 1 overall quarterback, coming off injuries and being released from his only team. Newton was a good story, he sold jersey’s and gave Patriots fans a false sense of hope that he would be the future.

Belichick is cerebral in his approach and he needs to be when finding his next quarterback. He wanted to make the change from Tom Brady and move this franchise forward. While this was in the long-term the right decision, in the short-term they are unprepared. 

Newton tried to do his job this season, but he struggled and wasn’t the right fit. This offseason Belichick shouldn’t take a flyer or shop the clearance rack for a quarterback. It’s time to bring in a legitimate quarterback that will lead the Patriots in 2021 and beyond.

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– Chris Henrique (@ChrisHenrique on Twitter)

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