If you were hoping to see the Patriots make a run at Cam Newton this offseason, Rodney Harrison is right there with you.
New England immediately was suggested as a landing spot for Newton after he was released by the Carolina Panthers. This made plenty of sense, as the jury still is out on whether Jarrett Stidham is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback, while Newton can be a force to be reckoned with when healthy.
But barring an unexpected change of course, it doesn’t appear as though Newton will be taking his talents to Foxboro. Harrison on Tuesday lamented his former team’s decision not to pursue the 2015 NFL MVP.
“…I thought it would be a great situation where he could have came in at a reduced salary,” Harrison said on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “He could have came in and really learned a lot about just technique and just the intricacies of being on a really great football team with great guidance as far as the head coach and offensive coordinator. I thought that would have been a really, really ideal situation for him. He could have came in, competed. Could have helped the young guy, young guy could have helped to push him. I thought it would have been a perfect situation. I’m just a little disappointed that the Patriots weren’t a little bit more aggressive just recruiting Cam.”
Many have assumed the Patriots’ lack of interest in Newton doesn’t have anything to do with the veteran signal-caller’s talent, but rather that he wouldn’t be able to coexist with Bill Belichick. Harrison, for one, doesn’t believe there would have been any issues between the three-time Pro Bowl selection and New England’s head coach.
“…I don’t think Cam would have came in and been a problem,” Harrison said. “Cam’s a good guy. Yeah, at times he acts a little immature and I’m sure he’s learned from that immaturity. … He’s a good person. Yeah, he made some mistakes with some interviews and the way he’s handed some situations, but he’s a good guy and he’s still a great football player.”
With Newton out of the equation, the Patriots’ starting-quarterback battle will feature Stidham and Brian Hoyer. The job reportedly is Stidham’s to lose, but the coaching staff is going to throw the kitchen sink at the 2019 fourth-rounder this summer to make sure he’s fit for the gig.