Cam Newton has a feather in this cap that most current NFL quarterbacks don’t: a perfect career record against the Patriots.
Newton has squared off with New England twice since arriving to the league back in 2011, and he shined in both contests, throwing for a combined 525 yards with six touchdowns. NFL analyst Bucky Brooks, for one, believes Newton’s past success against the Patriots could have an impact on Bill Belichick and Co.’s evaluation of the 30-year-old, who currently is a free agent after being released by the Carolina Panthers last week.
It’s rare for Bill Belichick to lavish praise on opposing players, but his respect for Newton’s talents is well documented,” Brooks wrote for NFL.com. “Belichick has outlined the challenges of playing against a big, athletic quarterback with power and versatility like Newton’s. Given offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ creative mind and his affinity for athletic quarterbacks (SEE: Tim Tebow), it would be interesting to find out what the Patriots could do with his talents. Keep these numbers, via Panthers Wire, in mind: Newton has posted his best passer rating against any opponent (128.2) while completing 71.9 percent of his passes (more than 12 points higher than his career rate) and averaging 7.07 yards per rush (almost two yards higher than his career average) against the Patriots.
“That’s a lot of production for Belichick to see in person, and it’s one of the reasons why I think Newton could be on the Patriots’ roster this fall.”
Newton reportedly has drawn “no immediate interest” from the Patriots, who currently have Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and Cody Kessler on their quarterback depth chart. Things obviously can change, however, and at least one NFL pundit expects New England to bring in another veteran signal-caller over the coming weeks and months.
Newton comes with some risk, but if he’s still capable of even being a fraction of his old self, it might be worth it for the Patriots to kick the tires.