If there’s one potential free agency move that’s been a popular talking point this offseason, it’s the idea of Cam Newton going to New England. With Newton on the open market in the same year where the Patriots are dealing with a giant question mark at quarterback, it’s a move that could make some sense.
Of course, before anything could happen, the two sides would actually have to talk to each other, and although there had been no indication that something like that had happened, it now appears that Newton and the Patriots HAVE had some contact this offseason.
According to ESPN.com, the two sides had some contact shortly after Newton became a free agent on March 24, but nothing materialized, which is why Cam isn’t currently wearing a Patriots uniform. Just because nothing came of the talks doesn’t necessarily mean that Patriots won’t circle back and check in on Newton later this offseason.
According to the Boston Sports Journal, the contact was initiated by Newton’s camp and wasn’t met “positively or negatively” by the Patriots.
Although this could easily mean the Patriots just aren’t interested in Newton, it could also mean that they aren’t interested right now. Newton has been battling some serious injuries over the past two years, and although he’s been sharing workout videos this offseason to try and prove that he’s healthy, the fact of the matter is that there would be no way for the Patriots to confirm that he’s healthy, because their medical team isn’t allowed to check him out just yet due to NFL traveling restrictions that are still in place due to the pandemic.
There’s simply no way that Bill Belichick is going to OK the signing of a quarterback like Newton without knowing his health status. Newton has missed 16 games over the past two years while dealing with both shoulder and foot injuries.
So would the Patriots even be open to adding a QB?
Although the Patriots currently have four quarterbacks on their roster in Brian Hoyer, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith, Belichick hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing in another guy.
“You never know what’s going to happen down the road,” Belichick said on May 7. “But we feel like we have four good players there.”
The Patriots coach is actually a huge fan of Newton, and he made that clear in 2017, when he called the Panthers quarterback the hardest mobile QB to defend in the NFL (This was before Lamar Jackson entered the league).
“I think when you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks — guys that are tough to handle, can throw, run, make good decisions … — I would put him at the top of the list,” Belichick said at the time, via Patriots Wire. “Not saying there aren’t a lot of other good players that do that, but I would say of all the guys we played recently in the last couple of years, I think he’s the hardest guy to (defend). He makes good decisions, can run. He’s strong. He’s hard to tackle. He can do a lot of different things. He can beat you in a lot of different ways. We saw that in the game in 2013. I would put him at the top of the list. I’m not saying the other guys aren’t a problem, because they are. But he’s maybe public enemy No. 1.”
If Newton’s healthy, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Belichick eventually reach out. Of course, don’t look for anything to happen anytime soon. According to ESPN.com, Newton is expected to take his time before signing with a team, and there’s a good chance he won’t start the process of trying to make a decision until teams can return to their normal activities, which likely won’t come until training camp starts in July.
The bottom line here is that Newton is definitely going to end up somewhere, and if that somewhere is New England, the Patriots dynasty might have another few years left in it. If the Patriots don’t work out for Cam, there are multiple other places where he could end up, and if you want to know where that could be, be sure to click here to check out our 15 potential landing spots for the former Panthers quarterback.