Cam Newton is set to be back with the Patriots in 2021.
Newton, 31, is re-signing with the Patriots on another one-year deal, according to multiple reports. Newton joined the Patriots ahead of the 2020 season after he was released by the Carolina Panthers.
Per ESPN, Newton is set to receive a hefty raise if he meets all of the incentives in his contract.
Newton’s first season in New England was a rocky one. While he played in 15 of 16 games and completed 66 percent of his passes, he threw eight TDs and 10 interceptions and averaged just 7.2 yards per attempt. The only game he missed came against the Kansas City Chiefs when Newton was on the COVID-19 list.
He was also the team’s second-leading rusher. He carried the ball 137 times for 592 yards and 12 TDs. No other Patriot had more than three rushing touchdowns.
Newton's struggles throwing the ball were especially evident in the second half of the season. He threw for over 300 yards just twice all season. After throwing for a season-high 365 yards in a loss to the Texans, Newton didn’t crack 100 yards passing in each of the next two games and threw for 34 yards in the penultimate game of the season against the Buffalo Bills.
As you probably know, the Patriots finished the season 7-9 and failed to win the AFC East for the first time since 2008.
Will New England look for another QB?
The Patriots and Bill Belichick signed Newton after he played in just two games in 2019 because of a left foot injury. He also suffered a season-ending shoulder injury midway through the 2018 season and had shoulder surgery in January 2019. The shoulder surgery impacted his preseason preparation for the 2019 season.
Newton was released by the Panthers in March 2020 not long after the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States. He was a free agent for months — perhaps because NFL teams couldn't do their typical free agent evaluations because of the pandemic — before the Patriots signed him to a cut-rate $1.75 million deal in July.
While Newton's contract will pay him more in 2021, don't be surprised if New England looks for other QB options in the offseason. The Patriots could target a QB in the draft and even spend a top pick on a QB. Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm believes five QBs could be picked in the first round.
Outside of Newton, third-year pro Jarrett Stidham is the only QB with NFL experience on the Patriots' roster. The former Baylor and Auburn QB was a backup for most of the season but didn't start the game that Newton missed. Veteran backup Brian Hoyer got the opportunity to start against the Chiefs before he was replaced by Stidham late in the second half.
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