The 2015 NFL MVP is gearing up for his second season with the Patriots with hopes of producing a much better campaign. Newton posted the video below that shows him working out with his new receivers and tight ends Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, Jonnu Smith, and Hunter Henry, as well as the guys who are coming back in 2021 like N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers.
Take a look:
Newton appears to be even more comfortable after a year with the organization, and with new weapons in the passing game at his disposal.
Jarrett Stidham On-Hand, And Playing a Major Role
You may have noticed Jarrett Stidham, the Patriots’ other QB, in the video. Stidham had arranged some of his own workouts, but Newton appears to have set this one up, and he invited the 2019 fourth-round pick to take part in the session.
Toward the end of the video, Stidham is referred to as Newton’s “young understudy.” Stidham was initially viewed as the man to take over for Tom Brady once he left in free agency before the 2020 season. However, he lost the QB competition to Newton ahead of the campaign and only played during five relief efforts.
Stidham has arm talent, but he’s yet to prove to the Patriots coaches that he is ready to be named QB1. Stidham completed 22-of-44 passes in 2020 for 256 yards, 2 TDs, and three interceptions.
There is a chance he and Newton could be competing for the starting job again this year. However, we’re unsure if Newton was already told he’d be the starter before he re-signed for another year.
AFC East Linebacker Expecting Big Things From Newton
Many critics aren’t confident Newton will have a bounce-back season, even with the vastly improved supporting cast the Patriots have put around him. Former NFL player turned analyst and TV personality Emmanuel Acho talked about how Newton has lost his respect around the league.
Don’t count Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard in that number.
NFL Australia posted this quote from the 25-year-old All-Pro and former AP Defensive Rookie of the Year via The Checkdown:
When it comes to Newton, there seems to be a significant disparity between the opinions of several media and players around the NFL. Before signing with the Patriots, Henry said that playing with a good quarterback would be an essential factor in his free-agent decision.
Some suggested that factor might eliminate the Patriots if Newton was the QB.
That wasn’t the case as he signed a three-year $37.5 million deal with New England to be one of two top-tier tight ends along with Smith. Also, players on the Patriots roster, like long-time captain Devin McCourty talked Newton up and lauded his leadership during a tough 2020 season.
Yet, there’s still a strong feeling that the Patriots are still in need of an upgrade at the position. As Acho mentioned, there is only one way for Newton to get his respect, and it’s on the field in 2021.
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