Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, and email. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
Are you glad the Patriots brought back Cam Newton?
I don’t know if “glad” is the right word, but it’s definitely intriguing, and some of the negative overreaction is way over the top.
Newton threw eight touchdown passes in 16 games last year. He was wildly inaccurate. There are genuine questions about whether he has the arm to be a starting quarterback in the NFL going forward. The concerns are all valid.
But there are also reasons to think he could be better, with a higher ceiling than some of the names on the free agent market. Most Patriots fans were thrilled with his performance after the Week 2 game vs. Seattle. Then he came down with COVID-19, and never performed at that level again. He also had no training camp to learn the offense and personnel – and that offensive personnel wasn’t exactly reminiscent of the 1980 San Diego Chargers to begin with. Despite his performance last year, having him signed should help with free agency. He’s a respected and popular player among his peers, including those that were his teammates this season.
I also suspect there are details that Bill Belichick knows and we don’t regarding what went wrong last year and why Newton struggled so often. There’s a race to discredit Belichick among some media and fans, to suggest he’s lost it because of how he handled the end of Tom Brady’s Patriots career. I don’t believe that for a second, and I trust his judgment on this.
The contract – reportedly worth a max of $14 million if he hits a bunch of incentives – seems low-risk and doesn’t preclude them from bringing in another quarterback. I’m also starting to think they may move up in the first round to get their QB of the future. Trey Lance, anyone?
Bringing back Newton wouldn’t have been my first choice. I thought Jimmy Garoppolo would end up here, but it doesn’t seem like the Niners are going to cooperate anytime soon. But I don’t dislike it, either, and can’t wait to see what the Patriots do to surround him with a talent upgrade.
What does everyone else think? How do you feel about the Patriots re-signing Cam Newton? I’ll hear you in the comments.