The New England Patriots could be starting off the post-Tom Brady era with a bang, one insider is speculating.
Amid reports that Tom Brady may be ready to move on from the Patriots after this season, CBS Boston columnist Michael Hurley speculated that the team could look to target Cam Newton, who himself seems on his way out of Carolina once the season ends. Newton was placed on what will likely be a season-ending injured reserve this week. Those close to the team believe that the Panthers will part ways with Newton after the season to rebuild around the undrafted — and much cheaper — Kyle Allen.
As Hurley writes, that could give the Patriots an opportunity to reload rather than rebuild, snagging Newton to take over for Brady. He noted that Bill Belichick has recently opened up about coaching into his 70s. If so, he would be leading a team without Tom Brady as the starting quarterback for the first time since Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in 2001 and then-backup Brady stepped in to lead the team to its first Super Bowl victory.
If Belichick decides to continue coaching after Brady is done playing with the Patriots, his options for finding a starting quarterback would be sparse, and a very late first-round draft pick means the Patriots will miss out on most of the rookies who are capable of starting right away. There won’t be many top free agents. Dak Prescott will likely be re-signing with Dallas and the other options being the likes of Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, and Ryan Tannehill — three quarterbacks who have not been able to hold onto their starting jobs.
“In that framework, one can see a way where the acquisition of Newton could appeal to Belichick. He could wait for the Panthers to cut Newton, thus freeing the Patriots to sign the veteran QB to a short-term, prove-you-still-have-it type of deal,” Hurley wrote, adding that the Patriots could also offer a late-round pick to the Panthers to pick up the final year of Newton’s contract.
It’s not clear yet if Brady is really on his way out of New England, but the future Hall of Famer sparked speculation after he put his house on the market and was a bit cagey in response to questions about his plans for next season.
“For me, it’s been good because I am just taking it day-by-day and I am enjoying what I have. I don’t know what the future holds and the great part is for me, football at this point is all borrowed time,” Brady said, via Pro Football Talk.