Bill Belichick, Patriots Doubling Down on Cam Newton Fail at QB

New England is bringing back a quarterback who can't throw on another one-year contract

Cam Newton tries to throw
Cam Newton tries to throw the ball during a game.
Getty Images

While leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a win in the Super Bowl, former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw 10 touchdown passes over four postseason games.

Prior to that happening, his replacement in New England threw eight touchdowns in 15 regular-season games while failing to bring the Patriots to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.

Despite that failure, Cam Newton will be back with the Patriots next season, as he has agreed to return to New England on a one-year contract that could be worth as much as $14 million, as first reported by The Boston Globe.

Bringing back the 31-year-old on an incentive-laden deal doesn’t preclude the team from bringing in another free-agent quarterback or drafting their QB of the future in April, but the move does indicate that the organization and head coach Bill Belichick are open to going through another season with Newton as the starter if necessary.

That is a truly scary proposition because Newton, who did set a franchise record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 592 and had 12 rushing TDs, had tremendous difficulty throwing the ball last season and finished with career lows (as a starter) in completions, passing yards, and touchdowns.

Though some of Newton’s struggles last season can be attributed to a subpar supporting cast of skill players, another area the team has yet to address this offseason, the fact that he did not appear to be able to throw a football with any degree of accuracy for long stretches of time is a major concern given that throwing the football is a prerequisite for a quarterback. (Or should be.)

If the plan is to keep Newton in the fold as insurance and to bring in multiple other players to compete with him for the starting role as well as select his eventual replacement in the draft, so be it. He was a solid locker room presence last season, said all of the right things off of the field and could help the team in recruiting this offseason. But, if the team does not draft a QB in April and the plan is to move forward with Newton as the starter, it may end up costing Belichick his job.

Last month, Newton said on the “I Am Athlete” podcast he was interested in re-signing with the Patriots. “Yes, hell yes,” Newton said. “I’m getting tired of changing, bro. I’m getting to a point in my career where I know way more than I knew last year.”

No matter how much Newton knows, it won’t change the fact that he can’t throw. Perhaps his plan to lose 20 pounds before the season will help with that and maybe Belichick re-signing him will end up looking like the stroke of genius Newton’s first contract with New England was hailed as — but failed to be. However, should that fail to happen and Newton flops again during his sophomore season as a starter in New England, he won’t be back for a third post-Brady campaign. And, crazy as it may sound given what he’s accomplished, Belichick may not be either.

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