Former NFL All-Pro and current Fox Sports analyst Marcellus Wiley says he thinks Newton would be a major upgrade over Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke. He states his case to co-host Emmanuel Acho on an episode of Speak For Yourself:
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Too Harsh on Cam Newton’s 2020 Season?
Newton has been pelted with criticism by critics, fans, and others, cutting him no slack for his and the Patriots’ performance in 2020. Case in point:
Newton had virtually no training camp, caught COVID, had no real weapons in the passing game, and was handcuffed by a gameplan that wasn’t designed to take advantage of his strengths.
Still, many are resorting to simple hot takes and dismissing him as a non-option for the Patriots in 2021. We know Bill Belichick marches to the beat of his own drum, but it remains to be seen if he’ll bring Newton back to New England.
By all indications, Belichick loves Newton’s leadership, work ethic, athleticism, and attitude. However, a recent report suggests he has some concerns about his arm strength. It won’t be a surprise if Newton’s recent pledge to drop weight is something he’s doing to decrease the muscle and bulk around his shoulder, which some may believe is a hindrance to his throwing motion–especially after suffering injuries to that part of his body.
Can Newton bounce back and have a much better 2021?
Absolutely, especially considering all of the aforementioned hurdles that impeded him in 2020 don’t figure to be there. It should also be noted Newton wants to be in New England, which isn’t something that can’t be said for some of the other big-name quarterbacks in the NFL.
Newly acquired Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford reportedly didn’t want to be traded to the Patriots.
Allowing Newton an opportunity to improve upon his performance from 2020 might be the best way for New England to regain some of the mystique it lost when Tom Brady left and won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Better Situation for Cam: Washington or New England?
If you’re looking at this from Newton’s perspective, it isn’t easy to assess which situation is best. He obviously has a history with Washington’s head coach Ron Rivera from both of their time with the Carolina Panthers. They went to Super Bowl 50 together, and Rivera was Newton’s head coach when the latter won the NFL MVP in 2015.
WFT also has a stud young running back in Antonio Gibson, a nasty defense led by Chase Young, and a true No. 1 receiver in Terry McLaurin. You could argue the supporting case there is already stronger than in New England, and perhaps, they need an identity, swagger, and the leadership that Newton brings to every room he enters.
The NFC East looks like an easier division to win than the AFC East with the emergence of the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins’ steady improvement.
However, Newton seemingly has unfinished business in New England. He wants to prove the challenge wasn’t too great and that he can thrive under the greatest head coach in NFL history. He would be in his second year with the offense and with the same offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels. That level of continuity and stability shouldn’t be dismissed.
The Patriots will almost certainly have better weapons than they had last year, thanks to $68 million in cap space (per Spotrac) and the NFL Draft to use as a talent farm. WFT might be the easier route for Newton, but the competitor in him seems to want to tackle the Patriots challenge again.