For the first time in over a decade, the future of the Patriots is uncertain. Since the great Tom Brady headed to Tampa Bay, it looked as if the Patriots were confident in backup Jarrett Stidham. Then, out of nowhere the Patriots picked up Cam Newton, the former star of the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots have stated that they have faith in Stidham, but still signed a former league MVP in Newton, now the question remains, who should be the Quarterback of the future?
While it’s nearly impossible to guess what goes on in Head Coach Bill Belichick’s mind, Cam Newton is by far the best choice. Interestingly enough, the sporting world is seemingly split over whether Newton will win the starting role; there are many voices who believe that Stidham will start in week 1. Sports Illustrated reports that former Patriot, Scott Zolak believes in Stidham.
“I believe Jarrett is going to be the starter from the people that I talk to, the people that I trust: the players, people tied to the team, team captains,” Zolak said. “The way they speak of Jarrett Stidham and the work he has put in.”
He is correct in everything he says, Bill Belichick has praised the second year quarterback repeatedly and Stidham does appear to be well liked in the locker room. He even has been in the Patriots system over a year longer than Newton, on top of that, Newton has battled injuries for the past two seasons. This begs the question, why should Newton start?
Yahoo! Sports reported what Patriots coaching great, Dante Scarnecchia had to say about Newton,
“I think he has a huge edge because of what he’s done in the league. The guy was an MVP [in 2015]. We played against him a number of times, have a huge respect for him as a player and leader, and the things he’s done.
This guy, from a skill set, a lot different from guys we’ve had in there at quarterback over the years. [Jarrett] Stidham has great feet and ability to move and avoid the rush, and create and do a lot of similar things.”
Cam Newton has more league experience under his belt, add a league MVP and that would already be a convincing case to Start Newton. One thing that many people fail to mention about Newton is his ability to command a locker room. In Carolina, he had the respect and loyalty of all the players and coaches, this still rings true today. Newton had already held private, 1 on 1 workouts with the following, Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and N’Keal Harry, including holding larger workouts with the aforementioned players and Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski. All the receivers seem to like his presence and respect him immensely, say what you will about Stidham, but it’s obvious that the locker room gravitates towards Newton.
The final point to make is simply that Newton has the best chance to succeed in New England, he has a stronger arm, better mobility, and more experience than Stidham, and this is possibly one of the better offenses he’s had. Without a doubt this is his best offensive line, as Joe Thuney, David Andrews, and Shaq Mason, are make up one of the best interior offensive lines in the league. Newton also has more weapons than he had in Carolina, he has a hungry receiving core who want to prove themselves and a strong 1-2 punch at running back with James White and Sony Michel. Even in his best season, Newton had an aging Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart and the mediocre Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn and an injury prone Kelvin Benjamin. Currently, this is arguably the best offense he’s had. When you take all of this into consideration, Cam Newton should obviously start for New England, all of Stidham’s upsides pale in comparison to what Newton brings to the team. If he can do it with his 2015 Panthers team, Cam Newton can surely work his magic to boost the Patriots back to the promised land.