Donny Football Hot Takes #5: Cam Newton Retires After 2020
By Donny Chedrick
One of the more surprising, yet unsurprising moves of the 2020 off-season was the first big move made by the New England Patriots following the departure of legendary quarterback, Tom Brady. That move was signing former Heisman trophy winner and MVP Cam Newton to a one-year contract worth $1.05 million with only $550,000 guaranteed. It was a piece of humble pie for Newton, who is 6-10 in his last 16 games, and had no touchdowns in the two games he played in 2019. After missing the majority of last season, Newton sat around for awhile during free agency, not signing with New England until late June. The deal became official on July 8th, but after one year under head coach Bill Belichick, he will retire at the age of 31.
Five years ago, Cam Newton was on top of the league. The 2015 MVP coming off a season in which the Panthers went 15-1, but falling to Denver in Super Bowl L (50). He had 35 passing touchdowns, 10 rushing touchdowns and 10 interceptions — by far his best year in the pros. Starting in the Super Bowl, things started to go downhill for the former Auburn Tiger. In the big game, Newton was 18-41, 265 yards, 1 INT to go along with 45 yards on the ground with two fumbles and two fumbles lost. Following the 2015 season, Newton’s record as a starting QB is 23-23 with 65 touchdowns, 44 interceptions and hovering around 3,400 yards. Not that the numbers are bad, but the whole story isn’t always in the numbers. Stats don’t lie, but Newton has not looked like the same player he was in 2015, especially in his last few seasons.
Cam Newton signing in New England almost makes me think of it as his final chance in the league. And it’s hard to think that of a guy just beyond 30 who has a Heisman and MVP award in his trophy case. With what many consider to be the greatest head coach in NFL history, cheater or not, pairing Newton with Bill Belichick certainly made some eyebrows rise. Belichick has had high praise of Newton thus far, saying “Cam’s a hard-working kid. He really is. He’s worked very hard, I’d say, as all of our players have.” Obviously getting anything out of Belichick is amazing, considering he is one to never say or give anything to the media, but he appears to like Newton, for now. With Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer behind him, the leash might not be long for Newton if he is named the starter. Although reports have spilled out saying Newton is QB1 in Foxboro, Belichick would not commit to those reports, stating that he hasn’t named a starter at any position.
This could be it for Cam Newton. If he doesn’t win or keep the starting job in New England, he could officially be unwanted around the league. His ability and his lengthy injury history worries me that 2020-21 could be it for the 2015 MVP. Lisfranc, shoulder, knee, concussion, back, chest, ribs, ankle — all body parts that have been damaged throughout his nine-year professional career. Maybe Newton shows he has a lot left in the tank. Maybe he doesn’t. This is why it’s a prediction. This is why it’s a hot take. There also isn’t a rule that if he retires in 2020, he can’t come back in the future.
Tomorrow: Two QBs in Cam’s old division.