Depending on who you ask, the list of mistakes Cam Newton made in 2020 might be short, long, or moderate. In any case, the 31-year-old former NFL MVP sat down to speak with the hosts of WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show on Monday morning.
In the wake of the New England Patriots‘ final regular-season game against the New York Jets, a 28-14 victory that saw Newton throw 3 touchdown passes and catch another, there was a ton to reflect on as it pertained to the 2020 season.
Newton has spoken about his regrets from the past season before, but on Monday, he mentioned a different mistake that he’d made to begin this campaign that he wouldn’t repeat going into the 2021 season.
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Cam Newton Won’t Wait to Sign a Deal
Newton signed his deal with the Patriots in late June. If you combine the lateness of the agreement with the impact of COVID-19, it all equates to limited time to prepare for a new offense.
On Monday, Newton made it clear, he wouldn’t make the same mistake again. During the interview, he said:
“That definitely is going to go into consideration. I’m not going to wait until the latter part of another (offseason) when I have the opportunity to do something or sign with someone.”
After a brief pause, he added “you live and you learn.”
With that established, you have to wonder if Newton’s new approach will put him and the Patriots on different timelines, and that’s assuming there is any interest from New England in bringing him back in 2021.
It would appear the Patriots might be inclined to make a decision on their quarterback situation sooner rather than later. You want to have an idea of what you’re doing at the sport’s most important position before you head into free agency.
There is also a question about roles. It is highly unlikely Newton will be pleased with being handed a back-up quarterback role.
It seems he’s realistic, and wouldn’t mind having an opportunity to compete for a starting job, but being told from Day 1 that he is a back-up probably isn’t something that will sit well with him.
Should Cam Accept a Backup Role?
Given his age, which is still not considered old for his position, and his unique size and physical gifts, Newton would seemingly have something left to offer as a starter in the right system. The question is: will the Patriots ever run the kind of system that benefits him?
To their credit, and by Newton’s acknowledgment, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels did incorporate some things to fit their quarterback’s style. However, as he indicated in Monday’s interview, much of what they wanted to do was about a 20-year-old system that had been built and molded around one guy (Tom Brady).
In the end, that dynamic might be the thing that forces a separation more than anything else. Newton has set multiple times, it’s not about money. The decision will be based on fit, and we’ll find out over the next few weeks if there is still a connection.
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