2020 New England Patriots starter and pending free agent quarterback Cam Newton has made his latest pitch to return to the Patriots in 2021. And this one — made on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast featuring Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Fred Taylor — was Newton’s most emphatic yet.
“Yes. Hell yes,” Newton said when asked if he’d take another one-year deal with the Patriots. “I’m getting tired of changing. I’m at a point in my career where I know way more than I knew last year.”
Under center for all but one of the Patriots’ 16 games last year (he missed their head-to-head with the Chiefs due to COVID-19), Newton compiled a 7-8 record as New England’s starter. And though his eight passing touchdowns and 2,657 yards were both career-worst totals, Newton’s 65.8 completion percentage was actually the second-best of his NFL career (his 67.9 in 2018 remains his best).
Newton also did some significant damage in the ground game, too, with 592 rushing yards and 12 rushing scores (his most since rushing for 14 touchdowns as a rookie in 2011).
Cam and the Patriots talking?— Kev Moore (@_KDM1121) February 22, 2021
But Newton’s desire to stay with the Patriots goes beyond the fact that he’s tired of change.
“Now you give me [a full offseason], and not even that, but a system with me… you know what I’m saying?” the 31-year-old Newton said. “Like, [the Patriots] know me. [N’Keal Harry] knows me, Jakobi [Meyers] knows me, [Damiere Byrd] knows me. The young tight ends know me, the younger guys that’s coming in [will know me]. We’re still trying to flush out the 20 years of how it used to be.”
It also helps that the Patriots will have the cap space to add some much-needed weaponry in 2021.
But it’s not as cut-and-dry as that, as additional questioning from Marshall proved.
“There’s always a chance for everything,” Newton told Marshall when asked if there’s a chance he returns to the Patriots. And when pressed by Marshall further and asked if he’s talking about a new deal with the Patriots, Newton offered a noncommittal “I can’t say that.”
The Patriots have reportedly been aggressive in their pursuit of a seller-friendly quarterback market.