A former New England Patriots quarterback is “drawing interest” from teams in the free agency market.
Cam Newton, who started the 2020 season for the Patriots and was released by New England prior to the start of the 2021 season, is garnering interest from teams. However, he’s remaining “patient” for the right opportunity.
“Free-agent QB Cam Newton is drawing interest, but also is remaining patient. ‘I have teams that are interested in signing me,’ Newton texted. ‘I am waiting on the best fit as it pertains to winning a championship and getting a fair chance to play.'”
Newton’s Recent Play Signals He’s Better as Backup
Newton went unsigned for a good portion of the 2021 season following his release from the Patriots. However, he was eventually signed by his former club, the Carolina Panthers, in November following an injury to starting quarterback Sam Darnold.
The veteran quarterback quickly took over the starting quarterback job two games after he was signed. The 32-year-old quarterback eventually started five games in eight appearances with the Panthers, going winless in all of his starts.
While the former league MVP remains adamant about receiving an opportunity to start, the numbers indicate he might be better suited as a backup than a starter at this point of his career. Newton’s 65.8 quarterback rating and 54.8% completion rate were lower than any full-time starting QB in the league.
According to Pro Football Focus, Newton posted a 53.1 offensive grade in 2021 and a 70.9 offensive grade in 2020. Newton’s grade ranked him outside of the top 50 among all quarterbacks in 2021, while his 2020 grade ranked him 23rd among all quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts.
Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer remains open to the idea of re-signing the former Patriots quarterback — under the right circumstances.
Via David Newton of ESPN:
“It’s not just us saying, ‘Hey, Cam, come on back,”’ general manager Scott Fitterer said last week. “He’s got to want to come back. He’s got to like the role, the situation. It’s really just a fit for both of us.
“The door is open. I’d love to have someone with his leadership, his toughness. He brought so much to his team last year and stabilized us during a really hard time. He’s a really special person.”
During his lone season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, Newton led New England to a 7-8 record. After losing the starting QB job to rookie Mac Jones last season, head coach Bill Belichick had positive praise for his former starter upon his release.
“I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam,” said Belichick in September of 2021. “He came in here, he worked hard. He gave us everything he had. Right now, our future is going to be Mac at quarterback, and that is where we’re going to go.”
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Patriots Sign Giants Safety to One-Year Deal
The Patriots are finally making a little bit of a splash in free agency.
“Former Giants’ safety Jabrill Peppers reached agreement on a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, per Mike Reiss and me,” said Schefter. “Peppers tore his ACL last season and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp.”
Peppers has served as a starting safety for the Giants and Cleveland Browns since he was selected in the first round back in the 2018 NFL draft. Peppers has started 59 of his 61 appearances and played under current Patriots assistant coach Joe Judge when he was the head coach of the Giants during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.