The New England Patriots were considered to be one of the elite teams in the NFL. However, after Tom Brady left the Patriots, the team regressed and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
To make things worse, after the Patriots finished 7-9, Brady led his new team - the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to win the Super Bowl.
Heading into the 2021 season, the Patriots are determined to recover their elite status. The big question is: Will Cam Newton re-sign with the New England Patriots?
There are rumors that the Patriots could re-sign Newton if they cannot achieve a better prospect.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick believes the current weak team could have been stronger if they had more time with Newton in the offseason. There is still a possibility that Belichick is willing to give the quarterback a second chance.
Newton wasn't at his best during his first season as the Patriots' quarterback. He had 172.5 passing yards per game, five touchdowns and ten interceptions. While that isn't what New England is looking for in a caliber starter, he wasn't as horrible as naysayers claimed. The former MVP was still a threat as a great runner with 12 rushing scores in the season, and his completion percentage was 65.5.
Newton should not shoulder all the blame for the New England Patriots' shortcomings this season. The lack of offseason preparation, to fully grasp an offense that was built for Tom Brady, severely set Newton back.
If not Cam Newton, then who for the New England Patriots?
With the uncertainties surrounding Newton, a few other options arise on the free-agent market for New England to explore this offseason.
If the Patriots decide to part ways with Newton, the first quarterback already residing on the roster is backup QB Jarrett Stidham, who was initially the frontrunner to take over after Brady's departure.
During Week 14 of the 2020 season, Stidham appeared in a total of four games for the Patriots, completing 18 of his 33 pass attempts for 212 yards and two touchdowns. The 24-year-old quarterback threw three interceptions and rushed for a total of seven yards on seven attempts.
Stidham is already preparing to take over as starting quarterback. On Tuesday, he posted a picture on Instagram implying that he is getting ready for the 2021 offseason.
The Patriots quarterback position is still in question as many mock drafts predict they will choose a quarterback with the 15th overall pick.