NFL rumors: Belichick 'does nothing but rave about Newton' originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Cam Newton is set to be a free agent this offseason.
After spending a year with the New England Patriots and leading them to a 7-9 record, many anticipated that he would be moving on to another team while the Patriots look for a long-term replacement for Tom Brady.
However, the latest buzz indicates that a reunion between Newton and the Patriots may be possible. And there's one main reason for that: Bill Belichick appears to be a fan of Newton.
According to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, Belichick was pleased with Newton's effort in 2020 and has only one concern about his abilities moving forward.
Volin also reports that while Newton could return to the Patriots, his contract would have to be cheap. Also, the Patriots could still select a quarterback early in the 2021 NFL Draft if they do bring Newton back.
This all certainly makes sense. Newton has always been well-regarded by his teammates and coaches for his work ethic, and that's part of the reason that the Patriots had him start all 15 games that he was healthy for.
While there are concerns about Newton's arm strength, it's not the only thing to blame for his tough passing performance. The Patriots receiving corps was arguably the worst in the league, so perhaps with better weapons surrounding him, Newton will be able to post better numbers.
It's also worth noting that the free-agent quarterback crop isn't exactly strong. And while the 2021 NFL Draft class has five potential first-round picks at QB, the Patriots may not be positioned to land any of them without trading up. As such, they might not want to take a chance and wait until April to target an unproven quarterback.
The Patriots will start getting some answers to their QB conundrum when free agency opens on March 17. For now, the main takeaway is this. By no means is it a foregone conclusion that Newton will be back in Foxboro, but a return is in the realm of possibility.