After almost 20 years with the same starting quarterback, it looks like the Patriots will be moving on to their second QB in as many years next season.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots are expected to part ways with Cam Newton this offseason after just one season in New England.
Newton going one-and-done with the Pats wouldn't exactly be a huge surprise. Even though he has already tied Steve Grogan's team record with 12 rushing TDs by a quarterback, he's thrown for just five touchdowns against 10 interceptions, and he's failed to eclipse 100 passing yards in four of his 14 starts.
Newton acknowledged his disappointing performance earlier this week when he said, "I'm about to tie this year up and put a big knot on it. I can buy every single lock and key and throw away all of them."
NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry thought Newton's words had a degree of finality to them.
"The press conference he did with us this past week felt like a farewell," Perry said during "Pregame Live" on Sunday morning. "I think both sides have a lot of respect for each other, but it was very clear that it wasn't going to work with Cam Newton as the No. 1 guy.
"I think there was some inkling -- well, they like him so much, would they bring him back on another low-money deal as potentially a backup to try to work with, say a Trey Lance -- a guy who might have a similar play style in the NFL moving forward -- but that seemed unlikely too, given who Cam is. He's never been a backup at any point in his life since his first year at Florida, so it's not a huge shock obviously that Cam Newton and the Patriots will be parting ways."
The former MVP was a low-risk, high-reward signing for a Patriots team in desperate need of an answer at quarterback after Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay in March. And though he got off to a quick start, Newton has been unable to do much with the Patriots offense lately, leading them to just one touchdown in their last three games.
So who will take over in 2021? Maybe the Patriots draft a college prospect in Round 1 -- and New England does have a chance to get up as high as the 10th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft if things break the right way in Week 17. Maybe the Patriots bring in a veteran (and Tom E. Curran laid out a bunch of options earlier this season). Maybe it's finally Jarrett Stidham's turn as the team's starter.
Whoever is under center for Week 1 of the 2021 season, it seems a done deal that it won't be Cam Newton.