Cam Newton's future is unclear, but what we do know is the New England Patriots quarterback can become an unrestricted free agent once the market opens in March.
How will he approach free agency if it comes to that point? The 31-year-old veteran offered some insight during an interview with WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday morning.
Newton was released by the Carolina Panthers last March and he remained unsigned as a free agent for nearly 90 days. The Patriots didn't officially sign Newton until July 8. The late arrival in Foxboro meant Newton did not enjoy the benefits of a full offseason to get acclimated with his new coaches, teammates and playbook.
So, it's not surprising that Newton seems unwilling to replicate that timeline when it comes to free agency in 2021.
Newton also was asked on WEEI if he's talked to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick about returning next season. He responded, "No, we haven't."
Figuring out what to do at quarterback should be the Patriots' No. 1 offseason priority. Neither Newton nor backup Jarrett Stidham impressed on a consistent enough basis to prove they are the quarterback of the future in New England. Newton had a strong end to the 2020 campaign with four total touchdowns in a Week 17 win over the New York Jets, but throughout the season he had many struggles passing the football.
The Patriots could run it back with Newton, but other options such as investing in a quarterback through the draft or making a trade for another veteran also might be considered. Either way, all eyes will be on the quarterback position in Foxboro as the 2021 season draws closer.