It’s difficult to find anyone associated with the New England Patriots media or an outspoken fan of the team who doesn’t have something negative to say about the team re-signing Cam Newton, and even more, positioning him as the starting quarterback.
That’s not the case for the NFL players who recently signed with the Patriots with the understanding that Newton would be the man throwing them the football.
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Hunter Henry & Jonnu Smith on Cam Newton
It would appear this is the kind of offense that could be tailor-made for Newton to thrive. During Henry’s first meeting with Patriots media, he said he was “excited” to play with Newton, and he had already spoken with him.
After that, the two worked out with Newton giving him some details about the offense he’s coming into in 2021.
Listener Justin DeCoster in California is our "Pats West" correspondent and sent us some video from today's workout
— OMF (@OMFonWEEI) March 25, 2021
Before the beginning of free agency, Henry said that the quality of the quarterback would play a role in his decision.
Free Agent Tight End Hunter Henry discussed how he is approaching free agency and shared his thoughts on the franchise tag…
"I want to play somewhere, where there is a good Quarterback."
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) February 19, 2021
Some took that as a clear sign he wouldn’t choose the Patriots because of their negative perception of Newton.
Not only did Henry sign with the Patriots, but he also chose to play in Foxborough even after the team had already signed Smith at the same position.
Some believe Smith will emerge as Newton’s favorite target once the season starts. It could be a connection similar to the one he had with Greg Olsen while both were members of the Carolina Panthers.
Smith has already spoken with Newton too. He said, “he’s a hell of a guy.” Like Henry, he seems excited to get on the field with Newton.
Kendrick Bourne & Nelson Agholar on Cam Newton
The Patriots did aim for names quite as prominent in the receiving corps. However, Nelson Agholar and Kendrick Bourne bring a skill set that could significantly boost the Patriots’ offense.
Agholar has been among the most effective receivers in the NFL over the last two seasons on splash plays. RotoUnderworld had some of the statistics.
Nelson Agholor had 100+ Air Yards in 5 of the last 7 games in Las Vegas 🚀 pic.twitter.com/FMTfqyWNRy
— RotoUnderworld (@rotounderworld) March 23, 2021
Agholor was most complimentary of Newton.
WR Nelson Agholor says he has already connected with Cam Newton. He says he looks forward to growing with him.
“Cam Newton is a great quarterback. He’s a league MVP (2015) for a reason. I know he can do whatever needs to be done,” Agholor says. pic.twitter.com/nAmd50388w
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 24, 2021
He could be the weapon to help stretch the field in 2021, though the Patriots are likely to draft a speedy receiver to help deliver that element. New England was looking to strike gold in this area last year when it signed talented and athletic undrafted free agent Jeff Thomas. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out.
Lastly, Bourne was exuberant about the upcoming season and also fired up for his opportunity to play with Newton. He has already spoken with Newton as well, and the positive vibes are continuing.
Kendrick Bourne says that Cam Newton called him to congratulate him on signing with the Patriots.
In turn, Bourne said he told Newton: "I've been watching you since I was a young guy. It's an honor to just play with you, pick your brain."
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 22, 2021
— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) March 22, 2021
Bourne said he believes Newton is going to “ball out.” He acknowledges the negativity that seems to be heaped on Newton, but Bourne said he wants to “change the narrative.“
Patriots fans hope they’re wrong, and Henry, Smith, Agholor, and Bourne are right.
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