Newton had a rocky 2020 with the Patriots and will be a free agent next month. Will he be back for a second season with a complete training camp, no COVID, and better weapons? Controversial radio show host Dan Sileo claims to have the answer.
According to Sileo, who hosts a show on USA Radio Network, his “friends” with the Patriots have told him Newton will be “on the roster in 2021.” Here is Sileo’s tweet:
Who are these “friends?”
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Valid or Invalid?
Before we go any further, it’s always important to examine the source of information. Sileo is an ex-football player who played collegiately at Maryland and with Miami. He had a short NFL career but never distinguished himself as a starter or contributor on that level.
He bounced around between some smaller pro football leagues, including the World League of American Football, the Arena League, and the CFL, but ultimately retired and got into radio after 1994.
Sileo has been controversial, to say the least, since picking up his second career. His raw and unapologetic takes have landed him in hot water on multiple occasions. In 2012, Sileo was fired from WDAE after referring to the late Vincent Jackson, Cortland Finnegan, and Jonathan Vilma as “monkeys.” All three players are or were black.
In 2013, WQAM fired Sileo after he made inappropriate remarks about female sports sideline reporter Erin Andrews. Later that year, Sileo was fired once again by a Florida radio station.
This time WMEN let Sileo go after he placed a bounty on the head of then-Florida State Seminoles star Timmy Jernigan. He’s been mostly clear of major controversies since, but we’d be being less than genuine if there was no mention of a level of trepidation with some of Sileo’s claims.
While his past may be a little sketchy, that doesn’t mean he’s not privy to some information from people in the NFL. Could he be wrong? Of course, but he could also be on the money, whether that comes from actual intel or a shot in the dark that has a 50-50 chance of hitting its mark.
Bringing Back Cam Makes Sense
We can debate Sileo’s credibility as a source in this situation, but the concept behind a Newton return to Foxborough makes sense.
Newton has made it clear he wants to return. It seems Bill Belichick was fond of him last year, and believe it or not; the Patriots may not have a ton of other options. They don’t have the draft assets to win a bidding war for some of the top-tier guys who might be available, like Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson, or Matt Ryan.
Quarterback-needy teams with higher draft spots can easily outbid them. At No. 15, the Patriots aren’t drafting high enough in April to snag one of the top quarterback prospects. In the event, they trade up, as ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. projects, there is a chance they would get a guy who isn’t ready to start as a rookie. That means New England would need a veteran bridge quarterback.
Who would be better for that role than Newton? Lastly, the Patriots don’t have the offensive weapons to recruit any of the top free-agent quarterbacks effectively. Vice versa, with no quarterback in place, the Patriots cannot make their best pitch to free-agent wide receivers and tight ends.
That’s why signing Newton, who still has great influence throughout the NFL, makes the most sense. Wide receivers and some tight ends will still look at playing with Newton positively. So not only is he the team’s most practical option at quarterback, but he’s also probably their best recruiter for offensive talent in an offseason when they need weapons in a major way.
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