The New England Patriots have gone from a depth chart of three quarterbacks to rolling with a found-round draft pick by the name of Bailey Zappe, the same rookie quarterback who nearly came in and upset Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in an overtime loss at Lambeau Field.
With Mac Jones nursing a high ankle spring and the status of Brian Hoyer unknown, the Patriots must do something at the quarterback position right?
Naturally, the name of Cam Newton has resurfaced.
While some Patriots fans would rather forget the 2020 NFL season with Newton under center, there are some who would rather see the veteran presence of Newton rather than Zappe or Hoyer.
The New England Patriots offense is actually built for Cam Newton
To be fair to Newton, he would have a better supporting cast this time around. With Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson in the backfield, the Patriots would have quite the rush attack with the dual-threat ability of Newton.
With tight ends Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and a big wide receiver like DeVante Parker, one would say the offense is built for Newton who had his best years throwing tight ends and big receivers. As interesting as it could be a second time around, the focus of the Patriots still needs to be on building their quarterback of the future. Right now, that is Mac Jones, who will be back on the field eventually.
Unless Newton is willing to come back as a depth piece, it doesn’t sound like Bill Belichick will be calling him back anytime soon. In fact, he hasn’t been quick to call any quarterback which may mean Jones is closer to being on his way back than predicted.
“Yeah, we’ll see. We’ll evaluate things going forward. We’ll see where things stand. I don’t know,” Belichick told the media when asked about adding another quarterback. “Today’s kind of the day to reassess things and figure things out. Talk to our medical staff. Again, postgame is, most of the time, it’s really inconclusive. It’s the next 24 to 48 hours. How guys respond, what tests they do and so forth. All of that information comes in usually well after the game.”
It sounds like Belichick will roll with Zappe if Mac Jones or Brian Hoyer can’t go, but if the team needs a backup as the week progresses, the only quarterback who can come in and have some familiarity with the New England Patriots offense is Newton.
There may be no other choice as a temporary solution.
If they just need the veteran quarterback for a few weeks, Newton is capable of being successful because of his mobility and his personality. Love him or hate him, he does have an ability to galvanize players around him, which is something offensive players like Jonnu Smith, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor could use to help get them really going.
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Now, the question would be rather Newton could get them the ball. In his last stint in the NFL, Newton completed 54.8 percent of his passes in eight games with the Carolina Panthers. In that 2021 run with his original team, he threw for 684 yards with 4 touch downs and 5 interceptions.
There were glimpses of the old Cam Newton, but he was more the quarterback New England Patriots fans got frustrated with during in that 2020 season. In 15 games, he completed 65.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 2657 yards with 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Again, Newton is at the point of his career where he can be that veteran who comes in and sparks a team for a couple of games, but being a long-term starter is more than likely behind him.
So, to be clear, Belichick should call Newton for depth, but the thought of him coming back and being the savior this season a dream held on by those still envisioning the 2015 version of Cam Newton.