The Patriots are reportedly set to stick with Cam Newton as their starter as they play the first of their final two games of the regular season, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
#Patriots QB Cam Newton is expected to start against the #Bills on Monday Night Football, per source. Despite some questions about Jarrett Stidham this week, Newton is slated to start barring a late change.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) December 26, 2020
There was some thought that the Patriots might turn to Jarrett Stidham to finish the season, if for no other reason than to see what he had to offer, but no such luck.
Bill Belichick told the media Cam was his quarterback, and clearly, he meant what he said.
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Cam is Still QB No. 1
Belichick was consistently asked about changing quarterbacks this past week, and he wouldn’t come out and say “Cam is our quarterback,” as he has before, but he did show frustration with being peppered with the same inquiry.
It’s unclear if Newton was Belichick’s choice the entire week, or if there was a discussion had between himself and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels before the final decision was made.
In any case, all signs point to Newton being the made charged with leading the Patriots to a win over the Bills on Monday night at Gillette Stadium.
Sticking with Newton would also support the thought that there is a good chance the 2015 NFL MVP might indeed be back for another season with the team in 2021. The Patriots coaching staff is obviously very fond of Newton, and the quarterback seemed to imply he wants to return to the team next season.
If you think about it, there is a good chance Newton could be re-signed for a salary-cap-friendly 1 or 2-year deal. If that’s the case, the team has the ability to spend the majority of its expected $71 million on other positions. The Patriots need to upgrade at wide receiver, tight end, edge rusher, linebacker, and possibly at offensive tackle.
If they can pay Newton $7 to $10 million per season, they would still have the room to sign a wide receiver like the Tennessee Titans Corey Davis, draft a tight end like Florida’s Kyle Pitts, as well as signing an offensive tackle like the Dallas Cowboys’ Cameron Erving.
What’s Wrong With Stidham?
If the Patriots still aren’t handing the ball to Stidham, you have no other choice but to wonder what’s wrong with the 2019 fourth-round pick? What has he done or not done that has made the coaching staff believe he’s not an option as a starter–even with the playoffs out of reach?
At this point, could anyone blame Stidham if he wanted to be traded? At this point, he’s wasted an entire year, and if Newton is going to be back in 2021, you’d have to think he’d have an edge over Stidham next season as well.
It will be interesting to watch how the Patriots’ offseason unfolds in this regard, but get ready for more Cam on Monday.
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