It has been nothing short of an interesting offseason for Cam Newton and the New England Patriots. The franchise is moving forward for the first time in two decades without Tom Brady in the fold. That alone has completely overhauled their game plan for the quarterback position ahead of the 2020 season. The growing assumption is that Newton has a leg up in the competition for the starting job. However, the Pro Bowler just made some interesting comments about his status for that spot.
Cam Newton continues adjustment to New England
Cam Newton’s first experience in free agency wasn’t anywhere near what he anticipated.
Instead, Newton struggled to garner any significant interest across the league until the Patriots signed him to a one-year deal nearly three months into his free agency. It has provided the 31-year-old with an entirely new perspective as he heads into his first campaign with another franchise.
He possesses a different sense of motivation after many teams decided to pass on signing him. It has been a continuing process for Newton to get comfortable in his new surroundings that include learning the Patriots’ complex playbook. Those challenges in an abbreviated training camp have only ramped up the difficulty.
That has also shifted the focus more directly onto the competition for the starting quarterback job, which Newton just aired some compelling comments about his positioning in that battle.
Cam Newton doesn’t feel like Patriots starting quarterback
Since the start of training camp, head coach Bill Belichick has kept the quarterback competition close to the vest.
The belief is that Newton holds an early advantage in the battle for the starting job due to his unique skillset and ability. The three-time Pro Bowler just added to the uncertainty as he voiced that he doesn’t feel like the Patriots’ starting quarterback, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.
“Absolutely not. Every day is a workday for me. That label is not important to me right now,” Newton told reporters. “I have so much I need to get better at, so much I need to learn, so much I need to be comfortable with. Throughout this process, that’s the last thing that I’m pretty much worried about.”
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise due to the obstacles that Newton has had overcome this offseason. He’s still learning the Patriots’ playbook while Belichick is also exercising all his options at the quarterback position. That includes him considering platooning Newton with Jarrett Stidham.
It just goes to show further that New England is still considering different scenarios ahead of the 2020 season.
Starting job is his to lose
All that may be the case, but it’s hard to believe that Cam Newton hasn’t shown enough to earn the starting job.
Newton is the Patriots’ most effective option at the position despite continuing to gather a greater understanding of the playbook. He still needs to learn and get more comfortable with the game plan, but things are moving in the right direction.
Belichick has also persistently spoken highly of Newton’s work ethic and ability that only further pushes things in his favor. The Patriots may be taking the approaching to allow their quarterback to get acclimated in the system and surroundings. He still has a couple of weeks to get more reps in with the first-team ahead of the 2020 season.
Ultimately, it may just be a matter of time before the Patriots fully commit to Newton as their starting quarterback.