Cam Newton has signed a one-year deal to remain the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. This move comes as a bit of a surprise since Newton's first year in New England was not great, but it says a lot about Bill Belichick and the organization.
First, as Dan Orlovsky points out, the Pats are now committed to old-school smashmouth football. New England was already fourth in the NFL in rushing last year, so a continued commitment to the rush isn't surprising and Newton is the perfect guy to be a quarterback in that situation.
Especially if Newton is healthy. In addition to the regular football injuries last season, Newton caught COVID-19, missed some games and was really just never the same after it. If he is finally over the affects of the coronavirus, he could start to resemble the guy he once was.
The fact that Belichick is sticking with him after last season indicates he believes that too. Everything went wrong for New England last season and they still went 7-9. With Newton healthy and some key players returning who sat out last season because of health concerns, the Patriots could be in position to jump right back in the mix in the AFC East, or at least the expanded AFC Wild Card picture.
As for Jarrett Stidham, buddy, it can't be looking good. Even with all of Newton's problems last year, Belichick stuck with him and then brought him back. That doesn't seem promising for him or his trade value.
It also makes you wonder how much longer Belichick is going to coach. Bringing back Newton means he's the plan going forward. Belichick does not have time for a project. Belichick will be 69 when the season starts. Does he really want to stick around long enough to develop a rookie into a guy who can win?
The most disappointing part of this is that it means no big moves. The quarterback carousel we were promised just removed a pony. There will be no blockbuster move involving the New England Patriots. Just a lot of runs up the middle.