Cam Newton is making a return to the New England Patriots. After a very shaky 2020 season as the guy who replaced Tom Brady at quarterback, Newton is back for Round 2. While the Patriots have made a major free-agent splash this offseason, their quarterback situation is still shaky at best. Newton is ready to return and recently got some pretty deep advice from an unlikely source.
How much was Cam Newton at fault last season?
The 2020 NFL season was a mess all the way around. The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc throughout the league, forcing postponements, players to miss games, and games to be played on rare Tuesday and Wednesday nights. It was a tough season but the NFL managed to get through it.
The New England Patriots struggled mightily. Gone was their veteran quarterback Tom Brady. In was former NFL MVP Cam Newton. Newton was signed late and because of the social-distancing rules, he was unable to get to work out with and build a rapport with his new teammates. He also didn’t have a whole lot to work with on the offensive side of the ball.
Newton also tested positive for COVID-19 heading into Week 4, a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. After a 2-1 start under Newton, the Patriots lost to the Chiefs, triggering a string of four straight losses. The Patriots finished with their first losing season since 2000. New England went 7-9 and failed to make the playoffs.
Newton returning after a subpar statistical season
While the New England Patriots went 7-9 and struggled for most of the season, Newton’s numbers were mixed. He was very impressive with his legs, rushing for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns. His passing numbers, however, were ugly. Newton threw for only eight touchdown passes in 15 games and finished with 10 interceptions. He threw for 2,657 yards.
In a surprising move, the Patriots are bringing back Newton for the 2021 season. He’ll have a year of experience under his belt and he’ll also have a pair of new receivers and tight ends New England scooped up in free agency. The Patriots added wide receivers Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor, while also signing two top tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
Newton is back in New England on a one-year deal worth $14 million, a hefty raise over the $1 million he made last year. The Patriots are likely to select a quarterback in the upcoming draft. They have the 15th overall pick. Newton may be back to be a bridge guy, but he could also prove himself to be the starter with a whole new supporting cast and a full year of experience under his belt.
Newton gets some advice from friend Steve Harvey
Cam Newton released his Smoke N’ Sip show on BET this week and his first guest was his friend and TV host/actor/comedian Steve Harvey. The two had a genuine talk about family and fatherhood. Newton asked Harvey what advice he would give him regarding fatherhood.
Harvey told him there was no manual. “Ain’t no blueprint for raising your kids,” Harvey said. “They’re going to make mistakes and you have to allot for those mistakes. No matter what you teach them as a parent, one day they are going to make a decision that’s completely adverse to everything you’ve ever taught them.” Newton and Harvey then spoke about the challenges of being a stepfather.
As the segment drew to a close, Harvey stopped and gave Newton some advice that Newton will use on the football field. “Let me say something to you,” Harvey said. “There’s an African proverb: Lions don’t turn around when small dogs bark. Don’t even turn around. You a lion. When them small dogs is barking, you ain’t even got to turn around. Keep walking through the jungle, cause you a lion. Lions don’t turn around when small dogs bark. That’s you.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.