In 2019, then-Panthers quarterback Cam Newton changed his throwing motion following shoulder surgery. Before it could be fully and properly evaluated, a foot injury ended his season after only two games.
Now preparing for his second season with the Patriots, Newton is making more changes. Via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, Newton worked with a throwing coach in the offseason “to rebuild some of his fundamentals.”
Reiss reports that some teammates noticed a difference this week during Phase Two of the offseason program. Some regarded Newton as “getting off to a nice start.”
There’s never been any question about Newton’s work ethic. He puts in the work. Appearing this week on Michael Irvin’s podcast, former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman made an interesting observation.
“Cam works hard,” Edelman said. “Now, we’ve got to see if he can work smart in the right areas, and if he does that, he’s going to give himself an opportunity to do well.”
There’s an important caveat, thanks to the presence of a rookie quarterback selected with the fifteenth pick in the 2021 draft.
Newton, as Edelman said, is “going to have to beat out the young gun, because the young guy is there. . . . This kid [Mac Jones], that’s a first-round draft pick. That’s, like, a real first-round draft pick.”
Yes he is. Some still believe, despite predictable protestations from the 49ers, that the move from No. 12 to No. 3 was made with the intent to take Jones.
However it plays out, the best player will play. With the Patriots and Bill Belichick, that’s the standard. That’s the test. If Newton gives the team the best chance to win games, he’ll play. If it’s Jones, he’ll play.