Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots appear pretty comfortable with their quarterback situation heading into the 2020 season, but the Cam Newton rumors still won't evaporate.
Former Patriots executive - and Bill Belichick confidant - Mike Lombardi won't rule out New England as a possible landing spot for Newton, despite writing for The Athletic that the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars may be a better fit.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis
"Still, if Newton’s medical and price tag aligns with the Patriots’ salary cap thinking, I would never rule them out as potential suitor," Lombardi wrote. "Newton could play well in New England. He would have to accept the structure and culture, but his love of football and his love of winning would allow him to adapt."
Belichick indicated on Thursday that he plans to go into the summer with Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and undrafted free agents J'Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke as his QB group, so there's no reason to believe the Patriots will sign Newton. Our Tom E. Curran has reported that Newton "isn't in the Patriots' plans."
However, if Stidham and Hoyer, who will more than likely top out that group, don't perform well, then maybe Belichick could take a look at Newton down the road, provided he's available at the right price for the salary-cap strained Pats. The former Pro Bowl QB turns 31 on Monday and wherever he goes, he'll have to take a significant cut from the $16 million he made last year with the Carolina Panthers.
Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels "wasn't necessarily high on" Newton when he talked to the Panthers about their head coaching job this offseason, The Athletic's Joseph Person reported earlier this week.
Stidham, though, has a promising season ahead of him, and he did perform well in his final season at Auburn in 2018. The former Tigers QB, who'll turn 24 Aug. 8, threw for 2,794 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding three rushing TDs and completing 60.7 percent of his passes before becoming a fourth-round pick of the Patriots last year.
It's not difficult to see why Belichick is comfortable with Stidham as QB1 and why Newton, who is coming back from a broken foot that limited him to two games last season, likely isn't bound for Foxboro.
You have to at least give the kid a shot, and if he doesn't prove himself, then you move on. And Belichick will likely move on to Hoyer before looking at another high-profile QB.