Patriots Preseason: How Canceled Exhibition Games Would Affect Cam Newton

Getty Cam Newton

The NFL has already canceled two of the entire NFL normal four-game preseason schedule. By most accounts, there is a real chance we’ll see even more exhibition games axed before any NFL action is underway.

Like all teams in the league, the New England Patriots are closely monitoring these developments. It’s especially interesting when you consider the team’s quarterback situation. Teams with a quarterback who is experienced and has spent time in his system with most of his teammates will have something of an advantage.

The Patriots’ QB Situation and the Possibility of a Canceled Preseason

Unfortunately for the Patriots, they’re not one of those teams. Second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham has thrown only four passes in his career, and the newly signed Cam Newton is joining a new team with at least a partially different system than what he’s run in the past. If most, or the entire NFL preseason is lost, how will it affect Newton’s acclamation and playing time with his new team?

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There are two schools of thought on this, and both were represented by ESPN analysts and former players, Dominique Foxworth and former Patriot Rob Ninkovich. Here are their arguments.

Rob Ninkovich Says a Canceled Preseason Almost Ensures Newton Starts in Week 1

According to Ninkovich, Newton’s experience in the NFL would give him an advantage over the still-green Stidham. Essentially, Ninkovich believes the Patriots would lean toward talent since Stidham doesn’t have the live reps to supersede what he may not have in the way of ability, as it compares to Newton.

You can see the segment, which also includes ESPN’s Mike Greenberg on Get Up:

Dominique Foxworth Says a Canceled Preseason Favors Stidham and Brian Hoyer Starting Week 1

Foxworth believes a canceled preseason might lead to the Patriots turning to Stidham and Hoyer over Newton. Foxworth’s reasoning leans on the Patriots perhaps putting more stock in Stidham and Hoyer’s familiarity with the team’s system, and Newton, therefore, needing to wait to get his feet beneath him.

That could be risky and aggravating for Newton if Stidham or Hoyer gets off to a quick start. We’ve seen in the past, Bill Belichick will stick with the hot hand at quarterback. If Stidham, especially gets going and the team wins its first three games, it’ll be difficult to justify sitting him–even for talent and a presence like Newton.

Because of this, I lean more toward Newton starting early, no matter the situation. It’s easier to turn the ball over to Stidham if Newton fails than it is to work it the other way around.

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