After the heartbreaking departure of Tom Brady, New England needed hope. When the Patriots signed Cam Newton, hope filled the empty seats of Gillette Stadium again.
People all over the sports world thought a healthy Cam matched with Bill Belichick would equal MVP Cam and a seventh Patriots Lombardi trophy. The first month of the 2020 NFL season seemed as though those dreams were in sight.
Unfortunately, Newton could not find his rhythm to finish last season, nor could any other Patriot in 2020. It felt as though this season would be the real audition for Cam Newton and the New England Patriots. Newton looked sharp in preseason, ranking as PFF‘s fifth highest graded Quarterback. His arm looked stronger, his feet moved lighter, and his health seemed at his best in a while. But Bill Belichick could not ignore the production and success of Mac Jones this summer.
It may seem like a cold-blooded cut from Bill Belichick, but the timing gives Newton a chance to find a job in the NFL. The team knew that Cam would not be in the team’s long term vision. It is better to give Newton a chance to compete for another team than to drag him out week-to-week with the possibility of being benched for the new kid. Teams like the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and Denver Broncos all share Quarterback instability and could use Newton.
Cam Newton displayed this summer that he can still start in the NFL. The Patriots feature one of the most complex playbooks in the NFL that do not center around mobile, deep passing Quarterback. Unfortunately, there were little opportunities to see Cam with Nelson Agholor, Jonnu Smith, and Hunter Henry; Three names that fit Newton’s style best.
As for Cam’s time in Foxboro, it was not perfect, but it shall be appreciated. Cam Newton handled his role with every bit of class. Cam faced the music, the unsolicited and irrelevant criticism and answered it with a smile on his face and a commitment to work. His teammates love him, his coaches respect him, and Foxboro should be thankful for him. New England should be ecstatic about Mac Jones and his future, but Cam Newton deserves his flowers.
(Photo of Cam Newton by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)