Rodney Harrison has strong take on Patriots reportedly re-signing Cam Newton

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Nick Goss
·3 min read
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Rodney Harrison has strong take on Pats reportedly re-signing Cam Newton originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

People waking up Friday morning looked at their phones and saw the New England Patriots were reportedly re-signing Cam Newton, and it was the type of news that ignited lots of passionate debate over whether the Pats were making a good move.

One person who firmly believes bringing back Newton isn't a smart idea is former Patriots safety and team Hall of Famer Rodney Harrison.

“To me, if you’re starting over and you got rid of Tom, why would you re-sign an aging quarterback? I just don’t think (Cam’s) going to be able to take them to the next level,” Harrison told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.

“Maybe I’m wrong. … But if I’m Belichick, and I’m 68 years old, and I’m trying to rebuild my team, I’m not starting with a quarterback that has a lot of question marks around him. Can he perform? Can he throw? Can he drop back and consistently not throw it into the ground? He hasn’t shown that.” 

Curran: Newton at least provides Pats with answer to 'Who's your QB?'

Harrison made similar comments last month to our Patriots insider Tom E. Curran during an episode of the Patriots Talk Podcast. Harrison explained why he thought another year of Newton in New England would be a "terrible" mistake by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

"That would be the worst decision [Belichick] has ever made," Harrison told Curran. "Because now you're not being fair to your team. When I saw what I saw with Cam, every time I saw Cam pretty much I was hurt. Because I was a guy that believed in Cam, and when you see him drop back and he continues to throw the ball into the ground, throw it five feet or five yards above somebody else, you're like 'What are you doing, Cam?' ...

"You have to find a quarterback. It would be a terrible mistake for Bill Belichick to bring Cam back because Cam can't play football anymore. He just can't play quarterback in the National Football League."

Patriots Talk Podcast: Rodney Harrison on why Belichick should have expected Tom Brady’s Tampa success | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Newton played poorly throughout the 2020 season and threw for just eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 15 games. The Patriots ranked near the bottom in several passing categories, including a last place finish in touchdown passes and a 30th ranking in passing yards. New England finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

It's possible Newton could enjoy more success in 2021 with a full offseason and better weapons around him on offense. The Patriots didn't exactly surround the 31-year-old QB with a lot of talent at the wide receiver and tight end positions.

Re-signing Newton also doesn't prevent the Patriots from exploring other quarterback options for next season.

Harrison might end up being correct about Newton, but for right now, an incentive-laden one-year deal for the former league MVP isn't going to make or break the Patriots' offseason.