Should Cam Newton be the man for next season?
The Patriots were able to speak out a 20-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon, but no thanks to Cam Newton has he was held to career lows on Sunday as Arizona was able to make the Patriots signal caller absolutely invisible on the field. Newton did get the Patriots a key first down in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, and also got an additional 15 yards after Cam got hit after he stepped out of bounds.
Still though, it wasn't anything to write hime about for Newton and the Patriots. Cam had career lows all across the board. Newton had a career low for passing yards with 86, a career low quarterback rating of 23.0. Newton also threw two interceptions on Sunday, his first interceptions since Week 7 when the Patriots got blown out by the 49ers.
This was a step back for Newton, who has been extremely careful with protecting the football in recent weeks, and Cam has also been extremely effective with the offense, whether that's the case of better play calling or finally getting comfortable in the offense, Newton looked like a capable QB each of the last four games, with the exception of this Sunday against the Cardinals.
Granted, the first interception Newton threw wasn't completely on him has running back James White missed a block and the Newton had virtually zero time to throw, which caused the ball to be tipped up in the air. The second one was all on Newton as it was simply a bad read on him as he did not see the coverage that the Cardinals defense showed.
Thankfully for Newton, of his two turnovers, it only resulted in seven points and the Patriots were able to play better defensively and the offense found their groove in the second quarter. Cam Newton said during his postgame press conference: "I said in the locker room, I'd rather take an ugly win than a pretty loss, if that makes any sense." Cam is right in the case, at the end of the day, a win is a win, and a loss is a loss. Seattle was one of the best games the Patriots played offensively all season, but the Patriots didn't pull out the victory, which is why Newton probably said the statement he said.
That's how the Patriots have won four of their five games, they have been ugly performances on offense, that were bailed out by the defense coming bug when they needed to.
However this raises the question, should the Patriots bring back Cam Newton for the 2021 NFL Season?
There are obviously pros and cons of bringing back Newton for another season in New England after the 2020 season concludes. Newton hasn't exactly played well all season but there have been glimpses of Newton looking like the quarterback that he was in Carolina. On the other hand, the inconsistency on offense will desperately hurt the Patriots, especially when the Patriots are going to be play tough offenses next season from the NFC and NFC south divisions and other two AFC opponents that will be determined at the end of this season.
We also have to look at the development of Jarrett Stidham, who still doesn't seem ready to play at the professional level in the short time we have seen him this season, and Brian Hoyer is a career backup, and we all saw his pathetic effort against the Kansas City Chiefs back on Week 4.
That doesn't mean that the Patriots won't have options to sign another quarterback in the offseason. Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton, Mitch Trubisky Taysom Hill and few others will be available in the offseason if the Patriots do indeed decide to not resign Cam Newton.
The disadvantage that Newton had, that these other quarterbacks will get, will be time in the facility in the offseason, they will get the OTA's, mini camp, and a full training camp along with preseason games. Newton didn't have that kind of luxury this season, but not many free agents did either. Tom Brady was one of those free agents, but he was signed extremely early in the offseason.
However, this is probably the one benefit for Newton and a potential return for next season. Familiarity with the playbook and Newton has already built up good relationships with receivers like N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd. Plus, you give Newton a full offseason, training camp and preseason games with the Patriots, his 2021 numbers would be significantly better than his number are currently here in 2020.
Obviously that Patriots will have other concerns heading into the 2021 offseason, but the quarterback position will still be a major concern and top priority. But if the Patriots do want to give Newton a second chance, a chance to show what he is truly made of, sign him now, make the position a non-concern but make it a priority to get more production from the position.
Let's be real, Newton is not going to spend the next 10 years here, no way is that going to happen, Bill Belichick may here another 10 years potentially, but not Newton. But off the guys listed earlier, Newton is the best option of all those quarterbacks with the exception of Prescott who will either get paid by the Cowboys, or sign with else where, the chances of his coming to New England are extremely slim and unlikely.
As Patriots fans, we aren't asking Newton to bring home a championship, although that would be great, it's not likely. We are asking his is to keep this team competitive and relevant while the search for the long time successor for Brady is drafted.
Cam Newton still has five more games to make a case for a second season with the Patriots. The Patriots are set to play their final three road games over the course of the next three weeks. The Pats visit the Chargers on December 6th, the Rams three days later on Tuesday Night, and then Dolphins December 20th, before finishing the season at against the Bills and Jets. The Patriots will either still be in the playoff picture, in the hunt, or eliminated. A lot can happen in three weeks, but it's now Newtons time to shine and show that he can still get the job done.