New England Patriots: Cam Newton is fighting for his NFL career

Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

There is a lot more to the Cam Newton vs Mac Jones battle than just who wins the starting job for the New England Patriots.  There is an NFL career at stake here and one that comes down to the decision of Bill Belichick.

The fact that Belichick has stated repeatedly that Newton is the starter until someone plays better proves that the Patriots coach has a soft spot or whatever you want to call it for former NFL MVP.

But the question is whether the coach will ignore the fact that Mac Jones has played better than Cam?  Or does he care more about the rookie’s readiness at this point.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is battling Mac Jones and himself

As Jones makes mistakes and learns from those mistakes, while at the same time impressing teammates with his growth, Newton’s mistakes appear to serve a different purpose.

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With the latest Covid “misunderstanding” basically opening the door wider for Jones, the veteran quarterback must start thinking about his next move if he does not win the starting job.  Will he be content backing up the rookie or will he hope some other team out there sees he still has something left?

Let’s be frank, no matter what the 2020 numbers may say about Newton, the man is a competitor who is always out to prove doubters wrong.  There is no outside noise or even “music” that can or would distract him from working hard to achieve his goal.  The only thing in the way is a young quarterback who just may be better, at least for what this team wants to do on offense.

Then again, perhaps the team is set up for what Cam Newton was back in 2015 when he was supported by a strong defense, a running game and a big-time tight end.  When Belichick went on his spending spree this offseason, did he envision that Cam running the show?

In looking at the team, it appears so.  The only problem is the 2015 Cam Newton is not walking through that door, shades of the 2020 Cam continues to show up enough that even he has to wonder if his time in the NFL is about done.

If Cam Newton isn’t the starter for the New England Patriots, is he a starter anywhere?

If Cam Newton doesn’t make it in New England, will he have any opportunity in the NFL as a starting quarterback?  The key word there is starting quarterback.

With the Patriots quarterback competition between Newton and Mac Jones entering its final stretch, the veteran must not only show the Patriots he is capable of being one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the league, but he also has to show other teams he can be better than he was in 2020.

It’s quite that simple for Cam Newton as he doesn’t appear to be a man who will accept being anyone’s backup.  But if he wants to continue his NFL career he may have to if he does lose the job to Jones either prior to the start of the season or somewhere during the season.

In the last preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, he showed something, but has he completely won over  Belichick and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels?  Belichick says he’s the starter, but that’s Belichick being Belichick.  How does McDaniels feel?  Well, at least for now, Newton is the starter.

"“I know this is going to sound silly, but I haven’t really worried about it,” McDaniels said during a video conference, as transcribed by WEEI.  “I think that decision from Bill will be made when the time is right to make it.  Cam certainly is the starter now, and he has done a good job.  He has gone in there, he played well the other night.  He’s practiced well.  But I know those guys are really competing hard and we’re giving them an opportunity to compete and play a lot of football.”"

As McDaniels went on to say that his focus is on improving the offense, the main question is whether Cam Newton is the right fit to be able to do that.

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If he is not and if he is not willing to back up the rookie if he loses the job, does Newton find a job anywhere in the NFL as a staring QB?  As many careers have been revived by Belichick, there have been quite a few that have ended with Belichick as the last opportunity.