NFL Rumors: Patriots Could Still Bring In Another Quarterback, Even After Signing Cam Newton

Cam Newton on the sidelines during an NFL game.
Gettyimages | Maddie Malhotra
Football

The New England Patriots just answered one of the biggest offseason questions by re-signing Cam Newton, but some team insiders suggest that there could still be more competition coming for the former NFL MVP.

The team announced this week that Newton would be returning after an up-and-down season in which he struggled with injuries and accuracy issues. Though Newton appears to be the presumed starter at the moment, there is belief that the team may have other plans over the long term and could still be looking for his eventual successor

Newton Struggled Last Season

Cam Newton yells during an NFL game.
Gettyimages | Maddie Meyer8

After joining the team as one of the most high-profile offseason signings, Newton failed to match the hype and struggled to regain his MVP form. He threw just eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions, though did add another 12 rushing touchdowns. 

Behind the struggling Newton, the Patriots dropped to their worst record in more than 20 years, falling to 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. 

But Newton's performance was enough to earn him another contract with the Patriots.

Newton Signs New Deal

Cam Newton on the sidelines during an NFL game.
Gettyimages | Maddie Meyer

The Patriots announced this week that Newton would be re-signing with the team. ESPN reported that the contract is worth up to $13.6 million, with close to $6 million tied to incentives. 

Before the deal was signed, Newton made it clear he was wary about another trip to free agency and would welcome a return to New England.

"I'm getting tired of changing [teams]," he said in February, via ESPN. "I am at a point in my career where I know way more than I did last year. Yes, I would go back."

Newton's Starting Job Not Set

Cam Newton celebrates during an NFL game.
Gettyimages | Maddie Meyer

The new deal does not assure that Newton will remain the Patriots' starter over the long-term, however. Many insiders believe that the team could still be looking to bring in a young quarterback to compete for the job.

Tom E. Curran of NBC Boston suggested that the decision to re-sign Newton early could be part of a larger free agency strategy. 

"By no means does Newton’s return mean the team is done at the position," he wrote, adding, "He’s still a low-cost option. It’s not even St. Patrick’s Day. There’s going to be a ton of movement in the coming weeks and months and the Patriots -- after last year’s 7-9 season -- are going to be aggressive." 

Patriots Predicted To Draft Quarterback

Cam Newton seen at a New England Patriots practice.
Gettyimages | Pool

Many insiders have predicted that the Patriots will go after a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, which is unusually deep with signal callers.

With many of the biggest names expected to be off the board by the time the Patriots select at No. 15, The Sporting News pegged North Dakota State's Trey Lance as a potential fit for New England.

"New England hinted at wanting a different style of QB by adding Cam Newton late as a starter in 2020," the report noted. "It confirmed by re-signing Newton to a one-year deal for 2021, setting him up to be. bridge QB. Josh McDaniels would work better with a blank canvas and Lance has the work ethic and smarts to absorb the system well in a more regular offseason."