The Cam Newton experiment didn't work out the way the New England Patriots hoped it would. So now, it's on to 2021.
Bill Belichick and Co. have plenty of work to do as they approach the offseason, and it'll be an offseason unlike any other in Foxboro. The Patriots no longer have the advantage of being a destination for free agents wanting to sign with a sure-fire playoff contender.
Plus, Newton's rocky experience in New England could be a red flag to the 2021 free-agent class. The Patriots QB let out his frustrations after Monday night's loss to the Bills, noting the sacrifices he's made for the organization.
Tom E. Curran and Phil Perry discussed the challenging offseason ahead on a brand new Patriots Talk Podcast.
"[Newton] checked his ego and submitted and made himself humbled before Bill Belichick for all that Bill Belichick is about, all the Patriots are about," Curran said. "And in so doing, he did it for a million dollars and now that he's come here and experienced it and taken the slings and arrows that he's had to take -- some of which are deserved -- but he got strapped to a bomb, and now it's going off. I wonder if other players are going to look at this and say, 'Why would I want to go there?' "
Perry wasn't as pessimistic about the Patriots' chances of signing big-name free agents. He believes it'll simply come down to money, and New England has plenty of cap space heading into 2021.
"I always feel in the NFL it's different than other sports. I just feel like, unlike baseball or basketball, in general guys are more willing to just go to the highest bidder," Perry said. "The question is are the Patriots going to be willing to be the highest bidder for guys that would command that kind of treatment. ... I think more the most part if they are willing to pay, they're still going to end up with talented guys."
Also discussed in the new episode: Have the Patriots hit rock bottom? Did the Bills give the Patriots a blueprint on how to rebuild? Will other teams want Josh McDaniels as their head coach? And Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders breaks down what the analytics tell us about the best teams in the NFL.