The New England Patriots’ Super Bowl 52 victory over the Atlanta Falcons is nothing short of miraculous. The Patriots held a 27-3 lead at halftime of the AFC Championship Game, but then Cam Newton and the Falcons stormed back to take the lead. At the end of regulation, it was tied at 28, but then the Patriots scored two touchdowns in the two minutes of OT to win the game.
Cam Newton, the reigning NFL MVP, has made a habit of completely demolishing critics who say he can’t or won’t succeed, from his preseason predictions to his statements in the post-game presser. The latest round of doubters come from his own Carolina Panthers, who can’t seem to find a way to stop him.
Cam Newton, the incumbent starting quarterback for the New England Patriots, is battling questions about his own skills as he prepares for a crucial training camp. These doubts aren’t cropping up at the most convenient moments.
Former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was selected as the No. 15 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Patriots. As the Patriots’ training camp begins on Wednesday, Newton is expected to have an advantage over Jones, but there are some concerns about his deteriorating skills.
Some members of the New England locker room don’t think Newton still wears the “S” on his breast. Is he capable of going out and proving everyone wrong?
Cam Newton’s first season with the New England Patriots was a mixed bag.
It’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from Newton’s first season in New England.
The former league MVP was not signed by the Patriots until late June 2020. After developing an offense around a pocket quarterback in Tom Brady, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had just over a month to create a completely different system.
The surface statistics of Newton don’t seem to be that terrible. He completed 65.8% of his throws for a solid 7.2 yards per attempt. He also ran for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns as a three-time Pro Bowler. Newton, on the other hand, only had eight throwing touchdowns and ten interceptions.
A closer look elucidates Newton’s difficulties even further. Over the course of a complete season, his 47.0 total quarterback rating (QBR) was the lowest of his career. The 11.0 yards gained per throw completion was his career’s second-lowest record.
Newton’s precision had improved, and he was given a clean bill of health. Despite this, he struggled with quick-hit throwing motions and had trouble assisting the Patriots in moving the ball consistently. He had flashes of energy early in his career, but they were fleeting.
Teammates worry whether that vitality will ever be fully restored.
Newton’s Patriots colleagues doubt that he can return to his former glory as a top-flight quarterback.
Despite the fact that it seemed doubtful that Newton would be re-signed by the Patriots for a second season, he was eventually re-signed. The contract’s terms, on the other hand, seemed to provide room for competition.
Newton’s contract is worth $5 million with $9 million in incentives.
According to reports, Cam Newton’s deal with the #Patriots includes a basic value of $5 million:
Signing bonus of $2 million Base salary of $1.5 million (guaranteed) Total roster bonuses of $1.5 million per game
The remainder ($9 million) is in bonuses for playoffs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro, MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and other achievements.
March 12, 2021 — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo)
New England’s desire to give Newton a chance to prove himself was reflected in the framework, which also offered the Patriots flexibility if Newton were to be replaced as quarterback. Some in the locker room believe Newton lacks the ability to demonstrate his worth.
“Multiple current teammates,” according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, do not believe Newton can reclaim his former form. Newton’s injury history would make it difficult for him to go back to fundamentals, particularly given his profile as a mobile quarterback. However, the story seems to imply that Patriots players are open-minded about Jones becoming the starter.
This is not the case for everyone in the Patriots organization. Bill Belichick, the Patriots’ head coach, evidently thought enough of Newton to bring him back for another season. According to Boston.com, new Patriots edge rusher Matt Judon stated last week that he expects great things from Newton.
Regardless, it seems like the quarterback competition will kick up on Wednesday. Newton is well aware of the situation.
Newton knows that he must acquire his first job.
Cam Newton still has a lot to prove to both his fans and his Patriots colleagues | Getty Images/Kathryn Riley
Cam Newton isn’t a naïve person. He knows that Mac Jones was selected to be New England’s quarterback of the future (and perhaps the present).
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Newton stated earlier this month that 2021 is a “put up or shut up” season for him. He understands he has much to prove, and he should be even more motivated now since his colleagues are reported to be doubting his skills.
Jones will almost certainly be given every chance to compete for the starting position by the Patriots. Even yet, a hungry Newton will try on the Superman cape once again.
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
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