Cam Newton is a Patriot, but his role in New England still is to be determined.
Yes, Newton will arrive in Foxboro with plenty of fanfare and no shortage of accolades. But as former Patriot Rob Ninkovich explained, everyone, even longtime NFL starters, needs to earn their playing time in New England and nothing is handed out. Bill Belichick and Co. also seem to like what they have in 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham, who spent a year learning under arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.
Still, NFL analyst Emmanuel Acho believes it’s foolish to think Newton won’t be under center for the Patriots when they open up their 2020 slate in mid-September.
“Cam is going to start Week 1,” Acho said Thursday on FS1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “Now, going into training camp, on the depth chart Cam might not be the No. 1 guy on the depth chart starting training camp. Bill Belichick’s mantra: tear you down before building you up and hopefully you do eventually get built up. …Bill Belichick’s whole M.O. is to tell you how good you aren’t so that you continue to play with a chip on your shoulder. But is Cam Newton going to start Week 1? Let’s not act like we haven’t seen Cam and Jarrett compete at similar places before. They both were at Auburn. Cam, 14-0, national title. Stidham, not so much. Stidham, great quarterback. I covered him in college, I liked his game in college. I don’t have anything yet to say in the NFL because there’s inconclusive evidence to rule a decision as the jury. However, Cam — I’m not even going to say it. I’m tired of saying it. Cam, NFL MVP, is he going to start Week 1? Yes, and to think otherwise is asinine.”
— Speak For Yourself (@SFY) July 9, 2020
With the assumption he’s 100 percent healthy, Newton should win the starting QB job out of training camp. But as another player-turned-analyst, Dominique Foxworth, recently broke down, the three-time Pro Bowl selection might actually benefit from starting the campaign on the sideline.