ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith proposed a bold trade that would have the New England Patriots sending Cam Newton and draft assets to the San Francisco 49ers for Jimmy Garoppolo on a recent episode of First Take.
During the discussion, which included Smith’s co-host Max Kellerman and ESPN analyst, and former NFL defensive lineman Anthony “Booger” McFarland, the latter left no doubt about his feelings on Newton.
McFarland insisted the San Francisco 49ers need Garoppolo in 2021 if they’re going to have a chance to win. McFarland mentioned the veteran presence would be more important than putting a hotshot rookie in the QB1 spot.
Smith and Kellerman reiterated the concept, which would have the Niners turning to the veteran Newton as the bridge QB rather than Garoppolo.
McFarland swatted down that argument.
“I’m not a believer in Cam Newton,” McFarland said. “Listen, y’all believe in Cam Newton if you want to; 2015 has come and gone, and we haven’t seen that Cam Newton since. OK, I don’t think we’re ever going to see it. I would rather have Jimmy Garoppolo than Cam Newton, even though Jimmy G is on his way out.”
The entire segment is in the video above.
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At this point, I’m not sure Newton has any room on his bulletin board.
Newton is Building Himself to Prove His Critics Wrong
McFarland is just the latest person in the sports world to express a lack of confidence and respect for Newton as a player. Apparently, the disregard of his talent and leadership knows no age boundaries.
A kid at a 7-on-7 tournament infamously berated Newton earlier this year repeatedly calling him “a free agent.” Local sports radio stations are questioning if Newton is a viable short or long-term solution at QB, and the persistent trade speculation involving Garoppolo is dismissive of Newton–if not flat insulting.
Newton has mentioned on his Instagram account, he’s “not new to this feeling.” The feeling he seems to be referring to is being doubted.
Newton has expressed a desire to drop 25 pounds ahead of the season, and he charged his followers on social media to hold him accountable with a 31-for-31 fitness challenge.
This video shows an epic cardio session with a live drummer.
Everything Newton does, he does with a bang. As long as he gets the required results, that’s all that matters.
What Does a Successful Season Look Like for Newton?
That’s a question not many have asked.
Based on the way the Patriots are currently constructed, and considering the moves that have been made on both sides of the ball, the Patriots are talented enough to win the AFC East. Because the upcoming season will be 17 games, a 12-5 record seems attainable. Their ceiling may be 13-4, and the floor is 10-7. Remember, this team is still coached by Bill Belichick, and the free-agent moves have added exemplary depth at almost every position.
From an individual standpoint, Newton needs to have a 2:1 TD-to-Interception ratio. With the dual-threat tight end attack he has with Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, and more comfort in the Patriots’ system, his completion percentage should be north of 64%. Newton’s running ability should remain a weapon, and that’s especially in the end zone.
He may not run for 12 TDs in 2021, but he should have somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to go with 3,500 passing yards. He had just 2,657 in 15 games in 2020.
If Newton accomplishes those things, and the Patriots avoid being torn apart by injuries, many people will be singing a different tune about him and New England.
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