The Patriots’ latest media session indicated Cam Newton won’t return in 2021.
The final week of the 2020 regular season is fast approaching and New England Patriots fans probably couldn’t be more thrilled to put it in the rearview. After all, it marked their first losing season in two decades and the first time they missed out on the playoffs since 2008.
To put a positive spin on the Patriots’ disappointing campaign, however, it means they’ll be able to get a head start in regards to addressing burning offseason question marks. The most notable of these is the future of the quarterback position and whether they decide to re-sign Cam Newton.
Well, during the team’s latest media session on Friday, there might’ve been some foreshadowing taking place. Both Newton and head coach Bill Belichick spoke with reporters, and their comments suggest that a divorce is inevitable.
To start, Newton talked about what he could have done differently to be a better version of himself this season. His regrets about not having a full offseason to learn the playbook really makes it seem like he’s putting a bow on his tenure with the Patriots.
"“My only regret was I wish I had more time to dissect what I was actually getting in to,” he told reporters. “But learning this system, you just need more time, you need more real reps to kind of go through because there’s only but so much you can kind of make up.“For me, I still can be better. I still can be more consistent. Some of the throws that I’ve had, I wish I would have had back. But yet nobody cares about the circumstances, nobody cares about the waves or the tide that’s in the water. They just care about you just reeling that ship on in, and I didn’t do that consistently enough.”"
We obviously don’t want to put words in his mouth, but it sure sounds like Newton is aware he underperformed this season and that his inability to improve as the year progressed might have sealed his fate with the Patriots.
Then came Belichick’s turn to speak and he actually agreed with Newton as far as the issue with not having a full offseason of work. The 68-year-old was also asked about the prospect of continuing to work with Newton and his response didn’t really answer much of anything.
"“I agree with what Cam said, I wish we had more time together,” said Belichick. “I wish as a team we had more time with our team and with a lot of guys, especially new players. Yeah, I agree with that.“Again at this point, trying to do the best I can to help our team prepare for the Jets and finish the season on a good note. Again, these guys have really competed well in practice this week. They’ve tried to get ready like they have all year long and I want to do the best that I can to prepare our team to give us every opportunity to perform well on Sunday.”"
New year, same Belichick.
In all seriousness, you’d be hard-pressed to deny that Newton and Belichick’s downbeat tone — not to mention they were speaking in the past tense — indicates both are prepared to go their separate ways once the offseason rolls around.
The last time we checked, when the term “regret” is uttered in press conferences, it normally doesn’t set the tone for a happy ending.