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Report: Bill Belichick Can't Stop Raving About Cam Newton, A 'Significant Possibility' To Return At QB For Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) -- Late in the 2020 season, as Cam Newton's streak without throwing a touchdown pass reached four weeks for the second time of the year, Bill Belichick defiantly and definitively rebuffed any and all questions about the possibility of making a change at quarterback. We're now getting some idea of why.

Belichick apparently loved working with Newton, so much so that there's a "significant possibility" that the Patriots give the veteran QB another year in New England.

That's according to The Boston Globe's Ben Volin, who reported over the weekend -- both in print and on the radio -- that Belichick holds fond feelings for Newton.

"Bill Belichick's praise for Cam Newton throughout the 2020 season wasn't an act," Volin wrote in the Globe. "Multiple sources who have spoken with Belichick this offseason said he does nothing but rave about Newton and the effort the quarterback put forth in 2020."

Volin added: "Belichick did seem to genuinely enjoy coaching Newton, and multiple sources said they would not be surprised to see Newton back with the Patriots, especially if he's willing to take another cheap contract (though probably not minimum salary again)."

Volin made sure to note that Belichick does have concerns about the strength -- or lack thereof -- of Newton's throwing shoulder. That's surely no small matter. Newton, however, was able to complete passes at a 65.8 percent rate, almost six points better than his career completion percentage of 60.1. And he averaged 7.2 yards per attempt, just 0.1 yards off his career average of 7.3.

On WEEI, Volin expounded upon this reporting:

I've spoken to two people recently who have spent time with Belichick this offseason. Belichick's been down in Jupiter [Florida]. ... I do know how Belichick actually feels about Cam Newton, and based on the conversations that I've had with two different people who have spent time with Belichick, here's what they both said: Belichick genuinely loves Cam Newton. He loves him. He loved his work ethic, he loved everything he brought to the table this year. Except there's one big but: his throwing shoulder. He obviously does not have a whole lot left, not a whole lot of juice left in that shoulder.

But otherwise, Belichick loves him, and two different people told me that. And one person was like, 'I don't know why!' He was kind of taken aback with how much Belichick really respected and enjoyed working with Cam Newton this year.

And so hearing that from two different people made me believe, look I don't know if he's going to be back, but it's definitely a significant possibility, especially if Cam is willing to take another low-rent contract his year. I don't think it's going to be the minimum, but assuming Cam is willing to take the bait -- and it sounds like he is, because he said, you know, 'I don't want to leave.' Belichick kind of has him [as] fish in a barrel this time because Cam says he doesn't want to leave. But Belichick genuinely liked him, but he is very much concerned about his throwing shoulder, which, we all saw it last year.

Whether it's Cam Newton or somebody else, Volin added another important tidbit: The Patriots aren't expected to spend big money at the quarterback position in 2021.

"I think the expectation is that the Patriots aren't going to spend money on a quarterback again," Volin said. "It's going to be whoever they can get at their price, and I think there's a decent chance that it is Cam Newton again."

Newton started 15 games in 2020 and threw eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions, with 2,657 passing yards. He also had one of his best rushing seasons, running for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns on 137 carries. He also caught two passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.

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