A day after the New England Patriots took the field against the Carolina Panthers, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick made headlines by offering Cam Newton a rather compelling endorsement. “I don’t think there’s anybody in the National Football League that’s going to catch him,” Belichick said.

There are moments in sports, and life, that can define an athlete. Moments like taking a playoff series win, or winning the championship. Cam Newton’s response to a question about Bill Belichick is one of those moments. The NFL’s all-time winningest coach has had his share of experiences with Newton. But after a couple of encounters, Belichick’s opinion of Newton has never wavered … until now.

While praising Cam Newton for his positive attitude, even Bill Belichick has to admit that the 2015 NFL MVP hasn’t lived up to expectations in his first season with the New England Patriots. Maybe this year will be different? Although Belichick wants to continue supporting Newton, Patriots fans shouldn’t believe the hype. In fact, his final statement about the former Carolina Panthers star means absolutely nothing for the future.

Cam Newton must convince Patriots to keep his starting job

word-image-9141 word-image-9142 New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick walks behind quarterback Cam Newton during organized team activities. | John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Patriots fans have had many disappointing moments in Newton’s first year. His inability to move the ball through the air was a major factor in the team’s disappointing 7-9 record. While some of Newton’s problems can be blamed on Belichick because of the team’s weak lineup, the fact remains that the 6-foot-3, 245-pound signal caller just hasn’t shown the kind of season New England needed to make the playoffs. That didn’t stop Belichick from giving the Newton experiment another chance. With another one-year contract with bonuses, the three-time Pro Bowler could potentially make up to $13.6 million. But to maximize his salary in 2021, Newton will need to earn his starting spot and keep his . He could receive up to $1.5 million in bonuses for his active participation. He’ll earn $500,000 if he plays 60% of the total attacks; that number rises to $1 million if he hits 90%. The Patriots also attached Pro Bowl and All-Pro bonuses and postseason incentives to Newton’s contract. Of course, the 32-year-old must first beat Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the battle for the QB1 job. With training camp fast approaching, Newton faces the most important phase of his football career. If he can’t convince the coaching staff (aka Belichick) that he’s worthy of being a starter, it doesn’t bode well for his chances of staying in the NFL for long.

Bill Belichick’s statement about Newton means nothing for the future

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VosbWzY25UI[/embed] The Patriots held their second mandatory mini-camp session on Tuesday. But before he took the field, Belichick spoke to reporters about a number of topics. Not surprisingly, Newton’s name was mentioned often during the video call. Cam is a lot further along than he was this time last year – there’s no doubt about that, Belichick said in the press conference before practice. I mean, as you would expect, he has a good year of experience behind him and can start the process from the beginning instead of being in catch-up mode like last year. Belichick certainly left no doubt about where Newton stands compared to last year. But his final statement that the quarterback is nowhere near the level he was should not inspire confidence in Newton’s future. What Belichick said in June is irrelevant to the future. After all, it’s not like Newton felt comfortable in his first year at Foxborough. And what good is a year of experience if he has to work with new players at catcher and tight end? Forget the excuses of not having weapons and not knowing the playbook, and you end up with a quarterback who has or unstable throwing mechanics, inconsistent footwork, and accuracy issues. Does Belichick really think Newton will be in his eleventh? Will eliminate all these oddities? No matter how much Newton improved from last year in terms of understanding the system, none of that matters until he fixes all the flaws in his game that were there long before he arrived in New England.

Should the Patriots stick with the veteran or opt for promising rookie Mac Jones?

. Will Newton prove everyone wrong this summer? We can’t rule it out entirely. But judging by his unimpressive play in 2020, it doesn’t look like he’ll suddenly have it all back at the age of 32. If Newton doesn’t prove he can lead the offense without limitations in training camp and preseason games, then it’s time for the Patriots to cut the veteran. Belichick’s best bet is to lean on the only quarterback he’s ever taken in the first round. Jones has the perfect combination of physical and mental skills to function in Josh McDaniels’ creative scheme. If the Patriots feel comfortable enough to take him at No. 15, they shouldn’t be afraid to throw the rookie into the game right away and let him gain experience on an improved team. Unlike Newton, Jones has a long-term future in Foxborough. Someone has to tell Belichick before it’s too late. If not, retaining the veteran could lead to Robert Kraft having a difficult discussion with the greatest coach of all time. COMPARED TO: Bill Belichick is officially dealing with his own situation with Aaron Rodgers

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