New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke with reporters Wednesday and offered some thoughts on the quarterback position, which Cam Newton occupies after re-signing with the team on a one-year deal this offseason.
Regarding the struggles Newton and the Patriots offense endured, Kraft said in defense of the 10-year NFL veteran (h/t Jeff Howe of The Athletic): "In fairness to Cam, I'm not sure he had the proper weapons around him last year."
However, Kraft said, "One way or another, we have to get that position solidified." He also noted that the team can still add to the quarterback room.
The 2021 NFL draft will begin Thursday, April 29, and New England holds the No. 15 pick.
The Patriots are looking to improve upon a 7-9 season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. It was New England's first year since 2001 without Tom Brady as its starting quarterback, as he moved on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and won the Super Bowl.
Newton completed 65.8 percent of his passes for just eight touchdowns (10 interceptions), and he finished 28th in quarterback rating and 30th in QBR. However, he added 592 rushing yards and 12 scores on the ground.
Clearly, the Pats went into the offseason with an eye on adding playmakers, and they did that by bringing in tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith, as well as wide receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.
They also re-signed running back James White, while Newton's deal carries a $5 million base value that could be worth up to $14 million with incentives, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.