According to a report from The Athletic, the New England Patriots have exhausted all potential quarterback options thus far this offseason and will continue to do so in the coming weeks, though all signs point to them refusing to overspend for anybody.
The latest draft buzz indicates that the Patriots have made up their minds about not drafting a quarterback — at least, not with any of their early selections.
Assuming that’s true, it only opens the door further for a potential reunion with 2020 starter Cam Newton.
If Newton’s latest comments about returning to the Patriots were indicative of anything, it’s that he would relish such an opportunity.
The rumors are so pertinent, in fact, that fans should maybe start picturing a scenario in which the 31-year-old is under center for New England in 2021.
As exciting as that sounds, however, if the Patriots do end up choosing Newton as their guy this offseason, they simply must draft a contingency plan to throw into the mix if his struggles from last season rear their ugly head.
Contrary to popular belief, the lingering threat of Jarrett Stidham is no longer enough.
If the Patriots re-sign Cam Newton, he can’t be their only competent QB.
Newton declined to comment on whether he and the Patriots have discussed a potential extension, but at this point, the rumors are undeniable and that proves the team should also be brainstorming a Plan B option to bring aboard in the draft.
The Patriots simply can’t take any chances given how Newton performed this past season. For those who forget, he finished 34th in the league in passing touchdowns (eight), 28th in both interceptions (10) and passer rating (82.9), 24th in passing yards (2,657), 21st in yards per attempt (7.2), and 18th in completion percentage (65.8).
There were obviously underlying factors that contributed to Newton’s struggles — like a two-week stint away from the team while he was still getting acclimated to the playbook due to a positive COVID- test, a potentially compromised shoulder and lackluster offensive personnel — but he certainly didn’t do anything to overcome those stumbling blocks.
We’re firm believers that Newton will enjoy a bounce back campaign next season, and he’s come out publicly to say how motivated he is to do so.
However, the Patriots can’t have a short memory with regard to his performance this year, and using a middle-round selection on a backup option would be necessary.
Remember how they stuck with Newton amid his shortcomings in 2020 because of how little conviction they had in Jarrett Stidham to run the offense? That simply cannot happen again, so drafting a quarterback — or even signing a Ryan Fitzpatrick type — better be on their agenda if they end up re-signing the former MVP.