Deion Branch Optimistic About Cam Newton Ahead Of 2021 NFL Season

Newton wasn't set up to succeed in 2020


Deion Branch doesn’t believe Cam Newton needs to play at an elite level in the 2021 NFL season in order for the Patriots to be successful.

Newton effectively was a shell of his past self in his first season with New England. The 2015 MVP threw more interceptions than touchdown passes, and the Patriots posted a sub-.500 record for the first time since 2000 in part due to his poor play.

But the veteran quarterback will have a chance to redeem himself in the upcoming campaign. Branch, who knows a thing or two about having success in Foxboro, expects to see an improved Newton in 2021 and thinks even modest production from the three-time Pro Bowl selection would put New England in a good spot.

“Given the offseason (he’ll have), I think we’ll see a better Cam,” Branch said at the Patriots’ season-ticket member draft preview, per ESPN’s Mike Reiss. “Everybody is always talking about the 2015 [MVP] Cam Newton, but I’d like to go back to just the 2018 (version) — 67.9% passing, 24 TDs, 13 interceptions. If they can get that type of performance, I think this will be a great year.”

A bolstered offense in New England also should take pressure off Newton. The Patriots now have a pair of top-tier tight ends to go along with a loaded stable of running backs and a strong offensive line. If Newton takes on more of a “game manager” approach and limits turnovers, New England’s offense could be a respectable unit.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Newton will be the Patriots’ starting quarterback for the duration of the campaign. New England all but surely will draft a signal-caller in a few weeks, potentially even in the first round.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Barnes/USA TODAY Sports Images

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