Why Cam Newton is the Patriots’ best option to replace Tom Brady

first_imgMORE: Newton responds to Panthers trade announcement: ‘You forced me into this’That is yet another reason why New England should consider the move: The Pats could get Newton, 30, at a bargain. This is an investment worth making.All they have to do is make the call.Bill Belichick keeps up with the timesLook at the last two NFL MVPs: Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes. Jackson rushed for 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019, while Mahomes passed for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns the year prior.In 2015, Newton won NFL MVP honors with 3,837 passing yards, 636 rushing yards and 45 total touchdowns. That might seem like ages ago, and the health of his throwing shoulder is a valid concern. But when he’s healthy, Newton (who is 6-5, 245 pounds) can still be virtually unstoppable. In Belichick’s system, that’s intriguing — even more intriguing than Bridgewater would have been.All Belichick needs to do is chat with close friend and Alabama coach Nick Saban, who made the move from the traditional pocket-passing quarterback to dual-threats such as Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and, now, five-star freshman Bryce Young. Saban has first-hand experience against Newton, who in 2010 led Auburn to a comeback victory against the Crimson Tide en route to a national championship.Belichick has seen Newton up close, too. In two career games against the Pats, Newton is 2-0 with 525 passing yards, 106 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns. A more mobile quarterback would allow Belichick to refurbish the offense and catch back up with the Ravens and Chiefs in the AFC. Both teams beat New England last season and are on the schedule again in 2020.Newton is motivated”You forced me into this.”That was Newton’s response when the Panthers tweeted that he had permission to seek a trade; a sign he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the Panthers’ decision. With his release, Newton should feel slighted, disrespected and pissed off. And that’s exactly what he needs heading into his 10th NFL season. Why not show everybody he can still play at the place where Matt Cassel, Brian Hoyer, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett have had success behind Brady? Newton is more dynamic than all those quarterbacks.It’s easy to forget Newton ranks third among quarterbacks with 4,806 career rushing yards. The only two quarterbacks with more are Michael Vick (6,109) and Randall Cunningham (4,928). Vick reinvented his career with Philadelphia at 30. Newton can do the same at 31.MORE: Who will be Patriots’ next QB? Exploring their best Brady replacementsIt’s the best option for 2020When Brady announced he was leaving, the realization hit that Jarrett Stidham is the Patriots’ best quarterback on the roster. New England has signed Brian Hoyer since, but he is not an answer, either. Newton is proven MVP-caliber quarterback who has played in a Super Bowl. If the Patriots want to chase Tagovailoa in the 2020 NFL Draft or take a run at Trevor Lawrence in 2021, that’s fine. Newton would give them time to try either plan.A potential trade for Andy Dalton, who also is entering his 10th season, is another option. But remember: New England just watched the greatest quarterback in NFL history leave. His replacement must be able to handle the pressure that comes with that. That’s why a guy who was a No. 1 pick makes sense — New England could pursue a trade for Detroit’s Matthew Stafford or gamble on Jameis Winston in free agency, but Stafford is 0-3 in playoff games, and Winston has never reached the postseason. Tom Brady replaced former No. 1 pick Drew Bledsoe as New England’s starting quarterback in 2001. The Patriots can bring that full circle by bringing in the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to replace him in 2020.Yes, New England should bring in Cam Newton as long as the soon-to-be former Panthers quarterback’s shoulder checks out. Carolina signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year deal, and the Panthers are reportedly close to releasing Newton. Newton has, and he has the clout that comes with being the top overall pick and an MVP selection. He is the kind of difference-maker who can lead the Patriots to more playoff runs. Which team would you take to make a deeper run in 2020: Newton in the AFC East, or Brady in the AFC South, which features New Orleans and Drew Brees?That’s a close call, assuming Newton fully recovers from the foot injury he suffered in a preseason game last year against, ironically, New England.It’s up to the Pats on whether to make the call.last_img

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