Cam Newton is about to finish up his first season with the New England Patriots, and it looks as if it’s going to be his last. Newton underperformed all season after Bill Belichick gave him another shot to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Patriots have apparently seen enough of Newton, and the team will reportedly part ways with the former MVP after this season.
Cam Newton was unimpressive for the Patriots in 2020
When the Patriots signed Cam Newton to a one-year contract last offseason, all of New England cheered in celebration. The team had just lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but replacing him with a former MVP seemed like a step in the right direction for the franchise.
But Bill Belichick’s grand experiment hasn’t turned out like he hoped it would. Newton has been one of the worst statistical quarterbacks in the NFL all season, and it’s about to result in the Patriots missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
In 14 starts, Newton has thrown for just 2,415 yards and a measly five touchdowns. He’s thrown twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdown passes in 2020. Newton ranks second-to-last among qualifying quarterbacks in passing yards per game this season (172.5), and he ranks 29th in QBR (45.1).
Newton’s accuracy problems and inability to stretch the ball down the field all year have doomed the Patriots. New England sits at 6-8 going into its final game of the season, and it’s already been eliminated from playoff contention.
Cam Newton and the Patriots will part ways after the season
Hours before the Patriots’ season finale against the New York Jets, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported New England is expected to part ways with Cam Newton in the offseason. Newton will become a free agent and have the ability to choose his next team for 2021.
The decision to move on from Newton isn’t a surprising one for the Patriots. New England signed the QB for a cheap, one-year deal in an experiment to replace Tom Brady, but it just never clicked for either side. Letting Newton walk isn’t a financial blow to the franchise, but it does leave the Patriots with tons of question marks at the quarterback position going into next season.
What’s next for Cam Newton and the Patriots?
Since the Patriots won’t be bringing Newton back for 2021, the QB will become a free agent for the second straight offseason. He’ll have the chance to explore other options in free agency, but it remains a mystery how many teams will be interested in Newton after watching his struggles this season.
As for the Patriots, they’re left in a precarious position in terms of their quarterback room. The franchise has made it clear Jarrett Stidham isn’t the answer, so New England will have to look elsewhere to fill the void left under center.
The Patriots could go after a top-tier quarterback in the trade market. Carson Wentz and Matthew Stafford are possible buy-low options New England could target this offseason. The team could also target a future franchise quarterback in the draft. As of Sunday, the Patriots own the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Florida’s Kyle Trask and Alabama’s Mac Jones could be potential options in the middle of the first round.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference