The Patriots’ decision to bring Cam Newton back was largely met by negative reactions from the fan base to Boston sports talk radio hosts.
On 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Felger and Mazz,” the show’s hosts didn’t mince any words when criticizing Newton while also taking aim at head coach Bill Belichick.
“The story is that the Patriots have put themselves in a position where with holes all over their roster and tremendous needs, the best they could do is bring a washed-up quarterback and put him on the roster in an attempt to lure free agents. That is the story,” Tony Massarotti said. “I don’t know if Cam Newton’s going to start for this team or not. I hope not. I doubt it, honestly. I have to believe that sometime around the draft, someone else will shake free. Even if it’s Gardner Minshew, he’s better than Newton. So, to me, it’s not that Cam Newton’s going to be the quarterback in 2021. I’m not making that judgment today. Maybe he is. I don’t know.
“But the judgment I am making today is ‘Wow, you’re a storied franchise coming off of the most dominant dynasty in the history of sports and this is what you’re reduced to?’ This is what ‘leverage’ you have? You have no leverage. You’ve never had leverage since Brady left. You’re in a position where you are desperate and you have no plan and you’re only shot is to bring up a washed-up has-been in hopes of signing free agents. That is the story.”
Massarotti’s co-host, Michael Felger, also believes that the Patriots signed Newton as a way to gain “leverage.”
“They’re bringing in Newton to have some semblance of leverage, at least in their own mind,” Felger said. “In other words, they want [Jimmy] Garoppolo but the 49ers are saying ‘No, high second-round pick or we’ll take No. 15 but that’s it.’ The 49ers have not made Garoppolo available or they’re playing hardball. The 49ers are saying right now to the Patriots ‘You don’t have anything. You need us.’ Now the Patriots can say ‘No, we’ve got a quarterback. We’ve got a quarterback. You’ve got to come to our terms.’ So, they’re trying to create this leverage, and they don’t have it. It’s a myth.”
“The thing is, if they really wanted the guy, if they really wanted Cam Newton back, if it was a priority for them, why did they do on the last business day before free agency and the tampering period begins?” Felger said. “You know what I mean? They could’ve given him an extension any time during last year, any time after last year, any time within the last two months. But here we are, the last business day before the tampering period being on Monday, which is really the beginning of free agency, and now you sign him. Why? Because you have nothing else.
“This is what they’re left with because they don’t want to have to pay the freight of having a real quarterback.”
Cam Newton passed for 2,657 yards but only eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 2020.
For the first time since 2008, the Patriots missed the postseason.
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