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Cam Newton Rumors: Patriots' Bill Belichick 'Does Nothing but Rave' About QB

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIFebruary 28, 2021

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, center, speaks to quarterback Cam Newton on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. At left is head coach Bill Belichick. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

In their first year without Tom Brady under center, the New England Patriots looked to Cam Newton, and head coach Bill Belichick is reportedly pleased with the performance.

According to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, Belichick "does nothing but rave about Newton and the effort the quarterback put forth in 2020."

Newton is a free agent, but per Volin, "multiple sources said they would not be surprised to see Newton back with the Patriots." 

   

The news came after Newton appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast with Brandon Marshall, Chad Johnson and Fred Taylor and said "hell yes" to a potential Patriots return. 

Newton, who signed a one-year deal with the team last offseason, had a strong start to the 2020 campaign before he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Through the first three games of the season, he led the team to a 2-1 record with an average of 238 yards in the air per game, but he couldn't keep it up after he returned to the field from the league's COVID-19 protocols. 

In the last 12 games of the year, Newton averaged 161.9 passing yards as the Patriots missed the postseason for the first time since 2008 and finished the year at 7-9. 

"By the time I came back, I didn't feel comfortable physically, skillfully," he said. "A lot of that discomfort came pre-snap. I'm lost. I'm thinking too much. ... The offense kept going, and I was stopped and stagnant for two weeks." 

Belichick stuck by Newton during the regular season, all but ignoring the presence of his backup quarterbacks. He consistently spent press conferences dodging questions about the quarterback situation. 

Brian Hoyer, a longtime backup for New England, started the one game Newton missed while he was out with the virus, and Jarrett Stidham, who was drafted in the fourth round out of Auburn in 2019, has yet to start. 

But Belichick will be forced to answer those questions now, whether it's with another contract for Newton, for someone else on the packed quarterback carousel or for someone already on the roster, since Stidham and practice squad quarterback Jake Dolegala are the only quarterbacks on the roster for 2021.