Cam Newton‘s first season with the New England Patriots didn’t pan out the way he envisioned. Newton struggled mightily, but he secured another one-year deal to remain in New England. The former league MVP is now taking extra measures to make sure 2021 unfolds much differently.
Cam Newton re-signs with the Patriots
Newton‘s first season with the Patriots came with plenty of disappointment.
The 32-year-old struggled to throw the ball as he finished 24th with 2,657 passing yards, 33rd with eight passing touchdowns to 10 interceptions, 30th with a 47.4 quarterback rating. His shortcomings contributed significantly to the Patriots missing the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.
However, Newton remained a considerable factor running the ball behind 12 rushing touchdowns and 582 rushing yards. It marked the third time in his career he hit the double-digit touchdown mark while extending his NFL quarterback record to 72 rushing touchdowns.
With all that in mind, the Patriots elected to re-sign him to a one-year deal worth up to $14 million. As Newton prepares for his second campaign, he’s taking extra steps to make 2021 a special season.
Cam Newton is going the extra mile to remain the Patriots’ starting quarterback
Newton‘s second campaign in New England comes with another unique opportunity.
The three-time Pro Bowler struggled last year, but he’s taking added measures to prove once again he should be the Patriots’ starting quarterback.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, Newton is working with a throwing coach to fix some of his fundamentals. As the Patriots move through the second phase of the on-field work in the voluntary offseason program, Reiss noted that some that dealt with the former league MVP “noticed a difference.”
The 32-year-old notably struggled to throw the ball, which many pinpointed may be due to a lack of arm strength. Meanwhile, questions remain around his throwing fundamentals that his shoulder surgery from January 2019 could have significantly impacted him.
The continued work could help him recapture the throwing form that made him one of the league’s most dynamic quarterbacks. He holds another chance ahead to reignite his career as a bonafide starting quarterback.
Last chance to reignite his NFL career
The Patriots lit a fire under Newton after selecting former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft.
Jones’ presence places tremendous pressure on the former league MVP to prove he can still be a highly effective factor. He holds the added comfort of already playing a year under his belt in the Patriots’ offensive system.
New England also improved the cast of offensive weapons around him with tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry, and wide receiver Nelson Agholor. The offensive line also stabilized further with the reacquisition of tackle Trent Brown and retained center David Andrews.
Meanwhile, the Patriots have held internal discussions about potentially acquiring Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Julio Jones. The All-Pro wideout reportedly voiced that he’s interested in playing with Newton. Even if New England doesn’t land Jones, the former 2011 first overall pick holds the pieces around him to put together a bounce-back campaign.
Head coach Bill Belichick voiced last month that the 32-year-old is the team’s quarterback, which will give him a clear-cut opportunity to prove his case.
“Cam’s our quarterback,” Belichick said via Mark Daniels of The Providence Journal. “Whatever time Jarrett or Mac are ready to challenge and compete, we’ll see how that goes. But right now for Mac, he’s just got a lot of learning in front of him. I know he’s very anxious to get going and get started on it.”
The Patriots are positioned to make a playoff push in 2021, especially if the former All-Pro quarterback excels.