Cam Newton has long seemed like a logical target for the New England Patriots this offseason but it may not happen because of Josh McDaniels.
In terms of dot-connecting, the New England Patriots have long seemed like a logical free-agent destination for quarterback Cam Newton. Bill Belichick’s team obviously lost Tom Brady for the first time in two decades and now has only Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer on the roster. So Newton seems like the right candidate if the team is in “win-now” mode.
But as the weeks since Newton’s release from the Panthers have passed, there has been little action on that front. And now it’s becoming more apparent why that’s the case, so much so that it appears that the Patriots simply won’t end up signing Cam Newton.
According to Joseph Person and Jeff Howe of The Athletic (subscription required), the Patriots have no interest in signing the quarterback, nor do they really have the money either. They are committed to Stidham and believe in the second-year signal-caller. But if that weren’t enough, it appears that offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels isn’t a fan of Newton either.
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As Person reports, when McDaniels was interviewing with the Carolina Panthers about their head coaching vacancy, the New England offensive mastermind was not particularly high on the quarterback. And that may be as big of a factor in the Patriots’ lack of interest than any.
For as much as McDaniels and Belichick can believe in Stidham and for as much maneuvering as they’d have to do financially to even sign Newton, the simple truth is that the offensive coordinator has a ton of say in New England. Now, after working with the same quarterback for 20 years — save for his brief stint in Denver — McDaniels wants someone he likes and is comfortable with.
If that guy isn’t Newton, then it makes sense as to why there has been essentially nothing about the Patriots signing the 2015 NFL MVP. He’s not their guy and, thus, they aren’t interested.
What remains to be seen, of course, is if that’s a wise decision or not. Stidham’s brief time on the field as a rookie saw him benched in garbage time after throwing a pick-six, which has many dubious of his readiness. And if Cam Newton is healthy, he certainly offers much more potential to win in the 2020 season.
But don’t expect that to happen. If McDaniels isn’t a fan of Newton in addition to the other hurdles that the Patriots would have to clear to sign him, it’s just not realistic. Chances are, Newton will end up starting for some NFL team in 2020 — it just almost certainly won’t be New England.