Getty Cam Newton
There are members of the New England Patriots fanbase that do no want Cam Newton to return as the team’s QB in 2021. There are members of the media who believe the two sides will part ways.
If Pats’ Pulpit’s Brian M. Hines gets his way, those two groups of people will likely be upset once the dust settles on Newton’s next deal. Hines offered what he called a “realistic projection,” that includes Newton signing a one-year deal to stay with the Patriots as their starting QB in 2021.
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Hines: “Patriots’ QB of the Future Will Be Playing College Football Next Year”
While many are set on the Patriots drafting a quarterback in 2020 to take the reins from Newton, Hines doesn’t believe that will happen. Instead, he envisions a mid-round pick coming in to learn under Newton and Jarrett Stidham while New England sets its sights on a bigger fish in 2021.
Here is what Hines wrote that explains his projection.
Based on our last two answers, a 2021 quarterback room of Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, and a mid-round rookie like Jamie Newman seems the most likely to me. While you could certainly get to the playoffs and compete with those options, it might not provide you with your starting quarterback for the next five-plus years. Now, maybe that prediction is horribly wrong and they find their future this year, perhaps with draft pick or by resurrecting a current NFL quarterback’s career. For my prediction, I’ll say Cam Newton is the short-term future, but the real quarterback of the future will be playing college football next year. Building this team back-up and then bringing in a young gun-slinger might be the unsexy, but best option.
Belichick and the Patriots will be patient while they attempt to find the right guy, and not just a guy to lead their offense over the long haul. Belichick said repeatedly, Newton did everything the Patriots asked of him, and there is reason to believe that the second year in the team’s offensive system should be better than the first. Newton had some bright spots in 2020, but he threw for just 8 TD passes and 10 interceptions. He did run for 12 TDs while also completing 65.8% of his passes.
If the Patriots get Newton some viable weapons to throw to at wide receiver and tight end, things could look completely different in 2021.
The Top College QBs in 2022 NFL Draft
If you’re looking ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft, the Patriots will miss out on opportunities to draft Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Mac Brown, and even Kyle Trask. Instead, the QB crop for 2022 is scheduled to be North Carolina’s Sam Howell, USC’s Kedon Slovis, Oregon’s Tyler Shough, or perhaps Oklahoma’s Sam Rattler, and Auburn’s Bo Nix.
Next season will have its own twists, turns, and major happenings, so one or more players could tumble from this list of possibles, and others could push their way onto the radar. If Hines is correct, Patriots fans would do better to learn about these players than to concern themselves with the top QBs available in the 2021 NFL Draft.