It took a few months, but Cam Newton has a new home in the NFL with the New England Patriots. That saw him agree to a one-year deal well below his market value that has been deemed a prove-it contract for him to secure his next lucrative offer after the 2020 campaign. Many questions arise concerning how Newton will fit into the fold in New England in the tightly structured culture and system that head coach Bill Belichick has put in place for the last two decades. It has also created one lingering concern about playing under Belichick.
Cam Newton’s arrival to the Patriots
It was nothing short than an interesting offseason for Cam Newton as he spent more time than he would like on the open market in his first trip to free agency.
That saw several teams pass him over due to various reasons, from his long-term health to his ability to possibly accepting a backup role. Franchises such as the Los Angeles Chargers and Chicago Bears appeared to be ideal fits, but each headed in another direction.
All that left Newton afloat in free agency without any sense of where he was going to land before the 2020 season. The Patriots remained a lingering option that saw them linked to him through the rumor mill through it all. It came to fruition late last month. Newton signed a well below what he could have possibly earned elsewhere had another team been seriously interested in his services.
In the time that has passed since the move, there has been plenty of reaction to the situation. That includes Newton’s only concerns about his new home in the NFL.
Cam Newton’s concerns about Bill Belichick’s coaching style
The entire free agency process tested Cam Newton’s mental toughness and belief in his ability on the field.
Through it all, he has pushed forward with more motivation to prove his doubters wrong that he can still be an elite NFL quarterback. However, the move to the Patriots for him did cast some self-doubt where he can fit into Bill Belichick’s system and coaching style as he revealed during a recent roundtable conversation with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and Todd Gurley.
“I said, ‘Hold on, how’s me and [Bill] Belichick going to mesh?’ You know what I’m saying? Because it’s like … perception.”
It’s no secret that Newton’s playing style is nothing that Belichick has worked with before with Tim Tebow being the closest to that at the quarterback position. The 31-year-old is a dynamic talent with his arm and legs that has shown he can lead a team to tremendous success behind that playing style.
Meanwhile, Belichick’s approach is quite rigid into the system he has in place that Tom Brady had fit the mold perfectly for the last two decades. That will need much bending and openness from him to get the most out of Newton’s unique playing style that could provide a different factor at the position that the team has never had over the last two decades.
Cam Newton must make the most of Patriots’ situation
The decision to join the Patriots may be a significant challenge for him to adjust to the changes, but it could what he needs to get his career back on track.
That will have to start with him learning the playbook and becoming comfortable with it as that will be the pathway to him getting on the field. The talent is there for Newton, but if he doesn’t have the control over the offense, it will be tough sledding for him to get any significant playing time outside of unique formation packages.
The three-time Pro Bowler can prove he can excel in any situation, and if he can be successful in Bill Belichick’s system that could see him extend his career as a viable starting quarterback in the NFL for many years down the line. Ultimately, his future in the league is on his shoulders to make the most of the 2020 season in New England.