Newton Is No Longer The Only Viable Starting Quarterback Option 

Cam Newton has had one roller coaster of an offseason. Heading into free agency, it was unclear as to whether the New England Patriots, or any team, would have significant interest in the veteran quarterback. From a passing perspective, Newton was far from impressive, but did show some energy as a runner in 2020.

New England decided to bring Newton back on a one-year deal, and took significant steps to upgrade the weapons around him in the offseason. The Patriots signed tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, which on paper should allow Newton to have easier throwing lanes than he did last season.

In the NFL Draft, the Patriots decided to invest in their future. The team selected University of Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round, indicating that Newton may not be in line to start most games for New England in the 2021 season.

As Jones is scheduled to take part in his first organized team workout next weekend, let’s take a closer look at whether the Patriots will jettison Newton off of their roster at any point in the next few months.

Why The Patriots should keep Newton

There are some very believable reasons as to why Newton struggled in his first season with the Patriots. Without a proper training camp or preseason, there was no way the new quarterback was going to learn one of the most complex systems in the NFL.

It looked like he was on his way to having a solid season in September, but his COVID diagnosis was another setback in his progression. After falling ill, Newton was never quite able to find the same success he had in the first couple weeks of the season. With more time and better health, he could be a lot more effective in 2021.

In addition, the veteran quarterback really didn’t have much talent to work with last season. New England legend Julian Edelman could not stay healthy, and the other receivers were not always wide open down the field. Newton would have to force throws into tight coverage, which often resulted in turnovers. With the signing of two new talented tight ends, the field should be much more open for the veteran quarterback.

Why The Patriots should trade Newton

At the end of the day, the Patriots have made it very clear during the draft that Newton is not the short-term or long-term future of the team. Before New England took Jones, it could have been argued that with a strong bounce-back season, Newton could have been an answer for the Patriots for the next several years. However, with the current situation, Newton would have to challenge for an NFL MVP award with his play in order for the team to resist the temptation of playing Jones in his rookie season.

As much as the team has tried to calibrate the offense to highlight Newton’s strengths, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has run a pass first, pocket dominant attack for the majority of his tenure. While Newton could very well improve as a passer in 2021, he will never be as pure of a pocket passer as some of the game’s elite throwers of the football.

In fairness, Jones will probably never be the runner Newton is, but Jones’ strengths are more aligned with what the Patriots have done on offense successfully over the past two decades.

Verdict: Keep Newton

It would probably be a difficult situation for Jones if he was to start for the Patriots in Week 1. Head coach Bill Belichick is not going to completely throw a season away to develop one player, so the team will probably keep Newton around. If Newton starts to struggle, there will be some uncomfortable calls for him to be benched, but the Patriots will probably be ready for this situation if and when it occurs.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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