At pretty much every turn, the New England Patriots reportedly have said thanks but no thanks to Cam Newton in the quarterback’s free agency.
But one former NFL signal-caller thinks the Pats should change their tune.
New England’s quarterback room very much is a question mark following Tom Brady’s departure. The starting quarterback job is Jarrett Stidham’s to lose, as the Patriots only have Brian Hoyer as the other QB on the roster, save for undrafted free agents J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke.
But during an appearance Monday on WEEI, former NFL quarterback and current league analyst for ESPN Tim Hasselbeck said that, while he likes Stidham, he thinks the Patriots and Newton should be interested in one another.
“Here’s how I see it with Cam, and I’m not saying Cam is the perfect guy to do things the Patriot way, but he’s won a lot,” Hasselbeck said, via WEEI.com. “I don’t have the numbers in front me but it’s something like (58) rushing touchdowns. That’s a lot of production. The passing is pretty good too. The passing isn’t amazing, but when you combine that with how you have to defend him differently because of his ability as a runner. … His issue I don’t believe is the shoulder. He was ready to play last year. He was cleared from the shoulder. Two shoulder surgeries in two years, but he was ready to play. It was his foot injury that he didn’t think he needed surgery on in September that he ended up having surgery on in December. That’s the issue for a 260-pound guy that is a very good ball carrier. I think people need to see where the foot is. I think there is a little anxiety with that.
“And then you mention the money, I think that’s part of his situation too,” Hasselbeck continued. “If I’m Cam Newton I’m not signing anything less than Philip Rivers’ deal with is one-year, $25 million which is probably getting half of it at signing which means you’re talking about a roughly $13 million bonus on a one year deal. You have to be sure about his foot in that situation.”
What’s likely stagnating Newton’s market, like Hasselbeck alluded to, is the fact that teams haven’t been able to see him work out in person due to COVID-19. Given Newton’s recent injury history, few, if any team would actually sign him without seeing him in person first, so the wait may very well continue longer for a market to materialize for the 2015 MVP.