Julian Edelman is a former teammate of Cam Newton’s, and he recently admitted that he’s “still going at it” with New England’s backup quarterback battle. While Edelman wouldn’t specify which of the three is his pick, he did say that his choice is a “good one” and that he considers the battle a “huge decision.”
We’re all expecting the Carolina Panthers to be Super Bowl contenders this season, and Cam Newton is certainly in the mix after a disappointing start to his career. But no matter how well he plays, there are bound to be critics who will look for any and every reason to pick on him.
It’s no secret that Cam Newton struggled in his first season with the New England Patriots. However, he was regularly praised by Bill Belichick and others for his strong work ethic and leadership qualities. It may have given him some cachet in the locker room, but he should take a big step forward in his second year with the team. After all, as a Patriot, he can’t afford a bad summer from Mac Jones. As if he needed a reminder of the pressure on his shoulders, Newton received a friendly nudge from Julian Edelman during a recent podcast appearance.
Patriots now have a room full ofquarterbacks
COMPARED TO: Mac Jones could cost Cam Newton millions by losing 19 million dollars himself The Patriots entered the offseason with Jarrett Stidham as the only quarterback under contract. Considering he hasn’t played a single game as a starter in 2020, that doesn’t exactly make fans optimistic about the future of the most important position on the field. And how did Belichick react? Sure, by bringing back Newton. Despite depressing signs of inaccuracy and an inability to diagnose defenses quickly, the veteran was given yet another contract by the Patriots. Belichick, however, was keen to point out that most of Newton’s money is tied to incentives based on a percentage of revenue and targets. If the former Carolina Panthers star were to return to form, New England would gladly pay him millions. Otherwise, Robert Kraft won’t have to reach into his pocket to compensate Newton. The Patriots finally brought in some new blood in the 2021 NFL Draft. And if all goes according to plan, Jones will be the face of the franchise in the not-so-distant future. He was a first-round pick, completing 77.4 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns in his final season at Alabama. Oh, he also led the Crimson Tide to a national title. Not surprisingly, Belichick returned as a familiar face to frame Jones. By signing Brian Hoyer to a one-year contract, the Patriots have found the perfect mentor for an exciting rookie. They have to go to training camp with four quarterbacks, each with questions to answer. Receiver Julian Edelman talks to quarterback Cam Newton before the New England Patriots game against the Miami Dolphins. | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images COMPARED TO: Julian Edelman speaks candidly about Mac Jones’ expectations for the Patriots As someone who knows how things work in New England, Edelman has to take the Patriots’ quarterback situation seriously. Eventually, he understands how important it is to prove himself to Belichick to earn a role on the team. Despite catching passes from Newton last season (or at least part of it), the retired anchor remained fairly objective when talking about what awaits him this summer on Michael Irvin’s podcast. Cam works hard. Now we have to see if he can work smart in the right areas, and if he does, he gives himself a chance to do well, Edelman said. However, Newton won’t be too happy with what his former teammate said about the player claiming his place. If you read between the lines, you can tell that Edelman expects big things from Jones. But he will also have to beat the youngsters, the 35-year-old said. Because there’s a young man there – Little Mac Atack. This guy is a first round pick. It’s a true first round pick. Edelman went on to point out a clear difference from Belichick’s approach to this year’s draft. Usually we pick 28th or higher, we take a defensive player. That’s how Bill builds the team, he explained. But if you come in and become the quarterback that Bill Belichick chose, I mean, come on, man.
Don’t expect Newton to beat a rookie
. COMPARED TO: Mac Jones could cost Cam Newton millions by losing 19 million dollars himself Will Belichick support Newton? Or will Jones impress the Patriots enough this summer to get the job? It will certainly be interesting to see how the battle for New England’s starting quarterback will play out. If Newton is unable to consistently play the passing game with a revamped team, Belichick should not hesitate to pull the plug. The team has enough talent to contend for a Super Bowl title this season. So it would be foolish to continue working with a veteran if he can’t lead the offense. However, Newton should have enough motivation to make Patriots fans forget about his lackluster 2020 campaign. Not only does he have a rookie running back, but there are millions of dollars at stake. Since his contract only guarantees $3.5 million, he literally has to stay on the field (and play well) to maximize his salary. Newton’s strong work ethic, Edelman says, clearly appealed to people. But if he needs more inspiration to prove his doubters wrong, he should remember the big man’s words about being smart in the right areas and shutting down young players. Finally, these comments were not optimistic about Newton’s abilities or his future in New England. Ultimately, Belichick will have to decide if Newton deserves to open the 2021 season as New England’s starting quarterback. The next few months in Foxborough could get interesting. All statistics are taken from Sports Reference and Pro Football Reference.