The New England Patriots took a very interesting swing in replacing Tom Brady last season, signing former MVP Cam Newton. After a few promising early weeks of the season, it wound up being a very tough year for the team and the quarterback.
Newton made 15 starts for the team, completing 65.8-percent of his throws for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. It was one of the most accurate seasons of his career, but he had lows in per-game yardage, touchdowns, and touchdown rate at 2.2 percent.
The Patriots offense didn’t help matters. The team had one of the weakest groups of skill position players in the entire NFL, especially in the passing game. Jakobi Meyers, the team’s leading receiver, had 729 yards through the air but did not score. Damiere Byrd was the only other player above 375 receiving yards, finishing with 604 and a score.
Owner Robert Kraft admitted that the team didn’t really give Cam, or any quarterback, what he needed to succeed in 2020. That has started to change this offseason, as the Patriots have been major spenders.
Robert Kraft asked about QB position: “I think in fairness to Cam [Newton], I am not sure he had the proper weapons around him last year and then he got COVID and there were a lot of things that happened.”
Added he doesn’t believe Jarrett Stidham has gotten a real shot yet.
— Ryan Hannable (@RyanHannable) March 31, 2021
The New England Patriots is ramping back up, adding two top tight ends in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, and receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor. It is still a work in progress, but Newton, or whomever starts at quarterback next season, will have a lot more to work with in 2021 than the Patriots provided in 2020.
Cam Newton has one of the less lucrative deals that New England has handed out, with just $5 million in guarantees. He can make up to $14 million with many incentives, but even then, it would be a very cheap deal for a veteran quarterback.
Of course, that also gives the team the ability to move in another direction if it so chooses. There have been persistent rumors about former Patriot Jimmy Garoppolo after the San Francisco 49ers’ recent trade up in the NFL Draft, though both sides have downplayed those publicly. However things go, the team is gearing up to be much more interesting and competitive this fall.
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