Did the New England Patriots set up Cam Newton for failure?

Cam Newton with the New England Patriots
Cam Newton with the New England Patriots
Rit Nanda

Death, taxes and surprises in NFL Cuts Week: Inevitable.

One of the most shocking bits of news from pre-season was when the New England Patriots decided to cut Cam Newton. From being the presumptive nominee for the starting quarterback position to losing it all, it was a spectacular fall from grace for the former MVP.

But in the analysis, all the blame has either fallen on Cam Newton for not being able to nail down his spot, or on Mac Jones for making the position his own as a rookie. While Jones did put on a show in pre-season and Newton did falter a bit, this does not absolve the New England Patriots from blame for their role in the affair.

The New England Patriots didn't give Cam Newton a fair chance

Ever since Cam Newton arrived at the New England Patriots, the organization failed to cushion the intense scrutiny he faced. That was always supposed to be the case since he was replacing Tom Brady, the greatest player in their franchise history.

However, in many cases, as the scrutiny increased due to an average season, and as Tom Brady went ahead and won the Super Bowl, instead of taking collective responsibility, the New England Patriots left Cam Newton out to dry. This, despite the fact that in the 2020 season, he didn't have a proper pre-season to learn the offense.

Undermining Cam Newton in the 2021 NFL Draft and pre-season

After all the problems with Cam Newton, instead of taking the time to let him learn the offense for the 2021 season, there's an argument to be made that they sort of undermined him in the draft by picking Mac Jones in the first round. It was never going to be easy for Cam Newton, but it surely didn't help his confidence for the new season.

Furthermore, he would have expected a fair shot at getting the starting job in the pre-season. As impressive as Mac Jones was in those games, he was involved in more drives than Cam Newton.

Failing to give him an extended run in the team certainly didn't help him get familiar, especially after an eventful offseason. That is not to say that self-inflicted blunders like missing five days due to his vaccination stance were excusable, but the organization never stood up for him at any point.

Having given him minimal support across two seasons off the field and on it, they decided to move on. While Cam Newton is burdened with the lion's share of the blame, there are reasons he can feel hard done by.

Edited by Colin D'Cunha
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