Might Cam Newton consider retirement if he doesn't return to Patriots in 2021?

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Darren Hartwell
·2 min read
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There's one option for Newton in 2021 that's flying under the radar originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

We may have to tweak the question of "Where will Cam Newton play in 2021?" to "Will Cam Newton play in 2021?"

The New England Patriots quarterback has been one of the NFL's worst starting QBs in 2020, ranking 32nd among 35 signal-callers in passing yards per game (181) with just five passing touchdowns to 10 interceptions.

Those numbers won't help Newton's stock entering 2021 free agency. And if New England decides to go another direction under center, The MMQB's Albert Breer sees a world in which the 31-year-old doesn't play at all next season.

"He's not the player he was before," Breer said Sunday on NBC Sports Boston's "Patriots Pregame Live." "He's not the thrower he was, and I think that's normal coming back from a shoulder injury, but beyond just that, what exacerbates the problem is he's not the same athlete. So, you add those two things together, and you have a player who's going to have to remake himself if he's going to play again.

"I don't know how much of a market there is going to be for him outside New England and Washington. It's going to be interesting to see, because it might come down to whether Cam is willing to fight his way onto a roster in 2021, and if that's a question he's asking himself, I'm not so sure retirement wouldn't be on the table."

This season hasn't been a complete lost cause for Newton, who ranks second in the NFL with 11 rushing touchdowns and has helped the Patriots win six games thanks to his legs and flashes of production in the passing game.

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But Newton has been more of a glorified running back than a legitimate starting QB this season, and it's fair to wonder whether a team would consider signing him in 2021 after seeing his latest body of work.

Newton has given no public indication he's considering calling it quits after 2020, and the three-time Pro Bowler and former NFL MVP may still believe he can lead a team at QB next season. That said, he turns 32 next May and has a significant beating over his NFL career, so it's worth at least considering retirement as a possibility for Newton next spring.