The New England Patriots went 7-9 in 2020.
“The New England Patriots will not make the playoffs next year, so it’s not a great move for them, because they still seem, to me, to be stuck in purgatory between Tom Brady and the next (quarterback),” Bayless said Friday on FS1’s “Undisputed.”
Of course, the rest of New England’s roster could look much different. The Patriots have a bunch of money to spend in free agency, and perhaps Bill Belichick will surround Newton with the weapons necessary for the QB to succeed in his second season with the organization.
Then again, Newton turns 31 in May and dealt with injuries toward the end of his tenure with the Carolina Panthers. His 2020 struggles might be an indication of what’s to come regardless of his supporting cast.
“I like this move for Cam Newton, because I’m afraid without this move, he might’ve been done (in the NFL),” Bayless said. “… Because I don’t know if anybody would ever see Cam Newton as a backup quarterback. I don’t know if Cam Newton would ever see himself as a backup — like a clear-cut, No. 2 quarterback who has no chance of starting. I just don’t know if that’s Cam Newton.”
Re-signing Newton doesn’t preclude the Patriots from adding another quarterback. In fact, one could make a strong case that pairing Newton with a high-upside rookie QB is the best option for New England as it looks to rebound from Tom Brady’s departure — a scenario that might require the Pats to trade up in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Either way, it’ll be fascinating to see what Newton is capable of in his second year with New England. Were his 2020 woes legitimate or mostly the product of undesirable circumstances?