The New England Patriots are currently trying to upgrade the talent around quarterback Cam Newton. Although the team’s record is a bit misleading due to the disruptions that COVID-19 has caused, it is safe to say that 2-3 and behind the Buffalo Bills in the AFC East is not where Bill Belichick saw himself at this point in the year.
One of the big problems New England faces is the lack of legitimate options Newton has offensively.
“Cam Newton is not the problem there, trust me,” one scout told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. “It’s who he has around him. It’s the same thing as it was before,” the scout said. “(Julian) Edelman is slowing down and isn’t going to give you the YAC like he could before.
“They don’t get anything out of their tight ends at all in the passing game, and they don’t do anything deep, because they can’t. The line is all over the place from a personnel standpoint. There’s only so much you can do with that cast of characters.”
Another team executive whose squad played the Patriots this season echoed those sentiments.
“It’s the worst group of skill players in the NFL, and you should probably put skill players in quotes,” he said. “That has to be the slowest offense in the league.”
So who are some realistic, gettable receiving options for New England at this juncture? There are three big names, it would appear: Adam Thielen of the Minnesota Vikings, Will Fuller of the Houston Texans, and Breshad Perriman of the New York Jets. The Patriots have enough flexibility cap wise to make a big move, and it seems like they will have to if they want to make up some ground in the division.
As things currently stand, Newton is the team’s leading rusher with 225 yards and Edelman is the leading receiver with 20 catches and 302 yards. Amazingly, Newton is actually ranked seventh for the team in receiving yards with 16 total. That encapsulates the difficulties New England is having offensively.
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 24, 2020
For what it’s worth, Newton refuses to shirk responsibility for the team’s issues. This week, he took full ownership of all the difficulties experienced up to this point.
“I want to make that perfectly clear,” he said.
“I have to play better football for the New England Patriots, and I will. I heard a person say once, ‘I don’t point fingers, I point thumbs.’ I take full responsibility of where we are as an offense.”
Championship coaches do championship things. https://t.co/Rt7179e8TK
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 22, 2020
Whether the Patriots make additional moves or not, Newton’s sole focus is on improving his own play. Whatever happens beyond that will happen as far as he is concerned.
“I just have to be better, and I can’t stress that enough moving forward,” he added.
This afternoon New England will look to get back on track with a win against the San Francisco 49ers. If the team fails to get back to .500, the trade rumors will no doubt continue to get louder and louder.