Most New England Patriots fans are ready to move on from the Cam Newton experience at quarterback. The Patriots themselves might not be ready to call it quits. Although the team suffered its first losing season since 2000 last year, one NFL Network reporter believes Newton could return. He estimates the percentage of Newton coming back to New England is much higher than most think.
It was a tough season for the Patriots and their fans
The 2020 NFL season was a tough one all around. It may have been toughest of all for fans of the New England Patriots. While COVID-19 played a major role in the unprecedented 2020 season, the Patriots also found themselves in a challenging situation.
Gone was Tom Brady who had guided the Patriots to six Super Bowl titles. Not only did Patriots fans watch Brady leave New England after 20 years, they had to watch him win his seventh Super Bowl in his first season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Meanwhile, in New England, the Patriots struggled mightily. They finished in third place in the AFC East with a 7-9 record. It was the first time since Brady’s rookie season that the Patriots failed to have a winning record.
Cam Newton was put in a tough situation
When Tom Brady decided to leave the New England Patriots via free agency, it didn’t come as a major shock to most. What was shocking was that the Patriots didn’t appear to have a plan in place as a quarterback replacement. Backup Jarrett Stidham appeared to be the favorite to replace Brady.
The Patriots then went out and signed free agent Cam Newton, who was limited to two games in 2019 with a foot injury. Newton signed in late June. With COVID-19 in full force, teams weren’t allowed to hold in-person workouts. Newton didn’t have a whole lot of time to meet his teammates, let alone develop some on-the-field chemistry.
Newton struggled, especially in the passing game. In 15 games, Newton threw eight touchdown passes and had 10 interceptions. He did finish with 12 rushing touchdowns. Newton should not take the entire blame for the passing-game woes as New England didn’t have a whole lot of weapons at wide receiver or tight end.
NFL Network’s Mike Giardi says Newton’s return is ’35, 40 percent’
A week after ESPN’s Mike Reiss said he wouldn’t close the door on Cam Newton returning to the New England Patriots in 2021, NFL Network’s Mike Giardi echoed that statement. Giardi was a guest on Boston’s WEEI’s Dale & Keefe Show on Tuesday and he believes the chances of Newton coming back are higher than most people think.
“Thirty-five, 40 percent,” Giardi said to WEEI. “I understand, I don’t have much of an appetite for it. I think there is a fair amount of the fanbase that doesn’t have much of an appetite for it. Signing in June and trying to speak a language that had been written for over 20 years with Charlie Weis and Josh McDaniels and Bill O’Brien and back to Josh, of course, Tom Brady being one of the authors of that as well. Trying to learn that and learn it on the fly, and obviously in as odd of a season as we’ve ever had, was very difficult to do.”
Giardi thinks Newton might have success with a beefed-up roster and the Patriots have the money to put some pieces in place. “Yet, at the end of it, 7-9,” Giardi said. “It obviously wasn’t good enough, but 7-9 and ‘Boy, we realized we needed more weapons, so if we add more pieces in the passing game and Cam has a full offseason, are we 9-7? Are we 10-6? Can we make a jump?’ I think that’s something they are having to consider there in Foxborough.” It might not be what Patriots fans want to hear, but it might also make some sense.