Think the Patriots are ready to move on from Cam Newton?
Not so fast.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer explained Thursday on FOX Sports 1’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” that New England actually might consider re-signing the veteran quarterback this offseason because of a major realization inside the organization.
“Would the Patriots be OK with bringing back Cam Newton for another year? I think they would be,” Breer said. “The main reason why is because I think they’ve had a hard time getting a full evaluation on Cam, based on what’s around him, and I think they’ve come to the realization over the last couple of months that it’s just not good enough.
“It’s not an 11-game sample size. Go back and look at the last nine games of last year. (Tom) Brady was 4-5 in those games, and his numbers were almost identical to the numbers that Cam’s putting up now. Cam’s passer rating through 11 games is 80. Brady’s passer rating in the last nine games of last year was 78. And so I think there’s an acknowledgment in the building right now that what they’ve put around the quarterback — regardless of who the quarterback is — isn’t good enough, and they’re going to take that into account when they make the decision on Cam Newton after the year.”
Newton, who signed a one-year contract late in the offseason, has been inconsistent with New England, raising questions over whether the Patriots should consider starting Jarrett Stidham down the stretch.
The Patriots enter Week 14 having won four of their last five games, though, keeping their playoff hopes alive. So, perhaps they’d be able to take a step forward next season with Newton, provided they surround him with better weapons.
It’s definitely something New England will factor into its QB decision, says Breer, who also didn’t rule out the Patriots seeking an upgrade.
“If there’s an upgrade, I think they would go for it,” Breer said. “If Matt Stafford or Jimmy Garoppolo or somebody like that’s available, I think that they would jump if they saw somebody as an upgrade. But I don’t think that they’re as out on Cam Newton as people might think. I think they see him as a player that might be OK as sort of the bridge quarterback to get them to whoever the next one is.”
Ultimately, Newton might not be the long-term answer. But, he also might not be the biggest problem, either, and that’s something the Patriots will need to figure out in the coming months.