Cam Newton enters his second New England Patriots season with a chip on his shoulder. The veteran quarterback is out to prove he can benefit from a full offseason with the team following a tumultuous 2020 campaign.
He'll have his work cut out for him. After being the clearcut starter a year ago, Newton will have first-round draft pick Mac Jones breathing down his neck. If you ask former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, it won't be long before Jones overtakes Newton on the quarterback depth chart.
Ninkovich explained on ESPN's "Get Up" why he doesn't believe Newton will turn things around in Year 2.
“No, I do not (expect a bounce-back season),” he said. “This doesn’t come from hate. I’m looking at this perspective of there’s two types of offenses that the Patriots would have to run. One completely different offense with Cam Newton, and the other with Mac Jones.
"The team is built right now to have a typical pro-style quarterback under center, run the football, 22 personnel, 23 personnel. They’re gonna be better-suited with Mac Jones under center.
“And Cam’s still going to have a big role in this offense. You’re going to see him in the red zone. He’s going to have a big impact on this team. But he’s not going to be the big breakout guy. It’s going to be Mac Jones."
Newton didn't show much improvement early on in OTAs and mandatory minicamp, but the 32-year-old finished the sessions on a high note. He'll need that to continue when Patriots training camp gets underway next month, otherwise he might not have a chance to redeem himself.
The Patriots announced Wednesday that camp will open July 28.