Apparently, we should be keeping an eye out for the Patriots to extend Cam Newton.
Two months ago, the Patriots QB conversation didn’t feature an established, long-term option about which any analyst could speak with extreme confidence.
In fact, the most likely Patriots QB for 2021 was Trevor Lawrence, or someone with similar pedigree from a bit further back in the draft.
Then, the Pats took the opportunity presented to them (which had been presented to them for several months) and signed Cam Newton for pennies on the dollar. It was a clear win-win. Newton needed to “prove” himself, and New England could maintain payroll flexibility in case they needed to spend big on their next quarterback, in case their draft slot didn’t end up where they wanted it to.
Since the initial impact of the signing, the Patriots’ coffers have only gotten larger, and Newton has been named the starter over Jarrett Stidham, a team captain, and a “match made in Heaven” with the franchise, according to the man himself.
Now, NFL analysts are beginning to echo the sentiment we’d been considering since August — wait, are the Patriots just going to straight up extend Cam Newton? Uh, maybe!
The buzz-starter here is former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, who went on ESPN Monday morning to further the speculation that the narrative could quickly swing from, “Who’s paying Cam Newton? Is he worth it?” to, “When will the Patriots pay Cam Newton?”
As Tannenbaum stated:
"“Mark my words, in two to three weeks, the early storyline that we will be talking about is when is Cam Newton getting that extension? Cam Newton Comeback Player of the Year. Can they keep up with Baltimore and Kansas City in the AFC? If, and it is a big if, Cam Newton stays healthy, I love this match and more importantly moving forward, I think he could be the Patriots quarterback for the next three, four, five years.”"
Of course, the biggest “if” here is his health, but it appears Belichick’s bond with Newton and the level to which he’s been impressed were not overstated in recent weeks. We’ve now heard it from both sides of the pairing.
After all, think about it simplistically: if you told Belichick he could have a 31-year-old Cam Newton for the foreseeable future back in 2015 during his MVP campaign, he would’ve taken that deal with aplomb. If a comfortable Newton looks like his old self, wouldn’t the Patriots have to consider maintaining the bond, as long as it’s working?
Jarrett Stidham may be a part of the future in some capacity, but he absolutely does not have to be. Let’s see if this narrative flips again, or solidifies itself as the season presses on.
Tannenbaum’s prediction could hold plenty of water if Newton really does rise to the offensive level of Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes in a matter of weeks.