The New England Patriots seem to have their found their quarterback of the future in 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones, who helped lead the team to the playoffs this past season.
Jones was a breath of fresh air and hope after fans in that part of the country had been spoiled by Tom Brady and all the success that the Patriots had during his 20-year run.
When Brady left following the 2019-20 season, head coach Bill Belichick signed 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton during the COVID-19-stricken summer of 2020. That meant Newton didn’t have the proper offseason to prepare and lead the offense heading into the season, due to the heavy pandemic restrictions.
During a recent appearance on “The Pivot” podcast, Newton opened up about that difficult 2020 season playing under Bill Belichick.
“The New England experience was a f**cked-up situation. I was still learning the offense 7-8 weeks into the season,” Cam said.
“So, before I sit up here and allow the narrative to be that Cam ain’t got it no more, Cam is talking full responsibility and saying Cam put himself in a f— ed up situation, which then has a ricochet effect to people thinking how they think of me.”
During Newton’s lone season he and the team struggled, finishing 7-8 in 15 starts. He passed for just over 2,600, 8 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. While his completion percentage was pretty high at 66 percent, he averaged a career-low 10.9 yards per completion, which ranked in the bottom fourth of the league.
Known for his legs, Newton still displayed that part of his skill set at a high level rushing for 592 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns (first amongst quarterbacks and fourth most in the NFL).
Shoulder Injury Changed Trajectory Of Career:
Newton underwent shoulder surgery following the 2018-19 season, and he never really healed until the start of the 2020 season.
His throwing motions and mechanics looked off. It also looked as if he was overcompensating for possible loss of velocity by pushing the football toward the receiver instead of stepping back and throwing it. The whole setup looked janky, and caused folks to question if he was done.
In an interview last year, Newton detailed how he hurt the shoulder during the 2018-19 season.
“I threw an interception, trying to throw it to Benjy [Kelvin Benjamin]. I tried to go make the tackle, and I tried to push him out, and I extended my arm, and I messed up my AC joint. Ever since then, there’s just been a part of me that’s just been a wounded dog.“
“I feel good at times, but I’m running, I still feel it. Instead of running them over, [with right shoulder], I’m going to turn [left shoulder] and go down.”
Patriots Move-On From Newton: He Lands Back In Carolina
Belichick decided to go with the aforementioned Jones as a rookie, releasing Newton, who had no desire to serve as a backup. Newton signed with the Panthers for a second stint following an in-season injury to Sam Darnold.
Newton didn’t have much success though. The team went 0-5, and Newton passed for 684 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. His 55 percent completion percentage looked like a direct result of that aforementioned surgery.
On the podcast Newton discussed how his decision-making has hurt him.
“My own worst enemy will always be me, as I’m gonna keep it above: I done jumped into some f—ed up situations. This ain’t no remorse, this ain’t I want somebody to feel sorry for me. This is me acknowledging that. I understand, I’ll own up to jumping into some f—ed situations.”
Panthers GM Scott says the team may be open to having Newton back this season and credits him for being an unselfish team guy.