Many immediately vaulted Cam Newton to the top of the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart upon the 2015 NFL MVP signing with New England.
It’s tough to knock anyone with this line of thought. Newton arrives to Foxboro with a level of pedigree, while second-year pro Jarrett Stidham has yet to make an NFL start. Newton’s versatile skill set also could allow for an entirely new wrinkle to the team’s offense.
So there’s a good chance Newton will, indeed, be under center for the Patriots come Week 1, but Peter King doesn’t believe that decision currently is set in stone. The NBC Sports scribe evaluated New England’s quarterback situation in his latest Football Morning in America column published Monday.
“I disagree with those who think Newton?s a lock to start opening day — if there is one,” King wrote. “I think he probably will start … but consider that Newton, this morning, has never had one install session with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, has not played fully healthy for 21 months and has had two significant surgeries in that time. Then throw in the fact that the Patriots have never had him on a practice field, and that Newton may not have his first real padded practice with the Patriots till two weeks before opening day. There?s a lot to overcome.
“I think Newton wins the job, but don?t discount the high New England regard for Jarrett Stidham. Belichick simply doesn?t care what anyone thinks about his quarterback situation.”
Former Patriots QB Scott Zolak is even less certain than King about Newton starting from the get-go in his first season with New England. In fact, Zolak believes it will be Stidham running the show when the Patriots open their new campaign.