Bezan has clearly seen all he needs to see from Newton as he took to Twitter to answer salary cap questions (as usual), and he also shares the occasional opinion.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Not Even as a Bridge QB?
At one point, Bezan suggested Newton might be worthy of a $25-$30 million deal from the Patriots in the offseason, but that was of course contingent on him maintaining his level of play from Weeks 1-3.
In fashion typical for those who speak aggressively on Twitter, someone called Bezan out implying he said Newton was worth a deal that size.
Bezan took the time to clarify, which isn’t the interesting part. What is interesting is Bezan’s opinion on whether Newton is worth bringing back next season. He says at the close of his tweet that he wouldn’t even re-sign Newton as a “bridge QB.”
There are many who share Bezan‘s take on Newton, but I’m not sure I agree.
Was the Offense Geared to Maximize Newton’s Strengths?
Some would suggest the Patriots ran an offense catered specifically to what Newton does best, and that’s run the football. There is no doubt, Newton’s mobility, power, and size are weapons unlike anything we’ve seen in the NFL–that’s especially the case in the red zone. The players who have been the closest things to Newton have been Bobby Douglass of the Chicago Bears and Daunte Culpepper of the Minnesota Vikings.
That said, to relegate Newton to nothing but a runner is being dismissive of his proven ability to make plays down the field with his arm. Newton has consistently proven to be among the most accurate and effective quarterbacks in the NFL on deeper throws. Unfortunately, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels rarely dialed up that sort of a look. Quite honestly, this overly safe approach handcuffed two of the team’s best weapons: Newton and wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Boston sports historian and host of the Stats Not Stories podcast Tucker Boynton posted a stat that further supports a point I made a week ago about Newton’s ability to connect with receivers on the longer routes.
Immediately after this tweet, Boynton reminded us how bad Newton has been on the shorter throws, which makes you wonder why this was the most common approach in the passing game.
According to Player Profiler, Newton ranks No. 2 in the NFL in deep-ball accuracy. Until I see a team run an offense catered to what he does best, it’s unfair to pass a negative judgment on him.
If McDaniels is unwilling to evaluate his playcalling and approach, it renders an inconclusive result. There is no doubt Newton will need to better on the field than he has been at times during the 2020 season, but the final word hasn’t been spoken on his career.