After a disappointing 2020 campaign with the New England Patriots, quarterback Cam Newton is well aware that he’ll have a hard time getting a starting job next season. But despite this, he isn’t ready to accept the backup role just yet.
Speaking on sports radio WEEI on Monday, Newton was at one point asked whether he would be willing to be a second-string in 2021.
“Honestly, it’s too early to tell,” responded Newton. “That’s as honest as I can be.”
Newton explained that he “absolutely” has the talent to be a starter but acknowledged that he didn’t show much this past season.
“I just really need some time for myself to really reevaluate this whole situation,” he added.
After sitting out most of 2019 with a foot injury and being released by the Carolina Panthers at the end of the season, Newton accepted the league’s minimum to play with the Patriots. The 31-year-old star hoped that a good run might help him rebuild his reputation and get him a long term deal in 2021.
However, Newton struggled for the better part of the year and finished the season with only 2,657 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns while throwing 10 interceptions. He did perform better in the running game, managing to rush for 592 yards and 12 TDs, but this didn’t help prevent a 6-8 record as a starter.
Newton might not be open to being a backup, but that will be his reality if he doesn’t manage to secure a stay in New England. There are not many open starting jobs in the league at the moment, and the teams that do have an opening would rather take a shot with a young signal-caller than play an injury-prone veteran.