On Friday afternoon, a former New England Patriots star made a bold statement about incoming quarterback Cam Newton.
Former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich doesn’t think Newton will be handed the starting job. Now, that by itself isn’t exactly a bold take when it comes to head coach Bill Belichick’s handling of the team.
However, Ninkovich took it a step further, saying Newton might not even be No. 2 on the depth chart when he reports to training camp. The former Patriots linebacker suggested both Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer will ahead of the former No. 1 overall pick.
“His contract that he signed is basically coming in, ‘hey look. Earn it,'” Ninkovich said. “He might be the third-string quarterback when he comes in.”
Here’s more of what he had to say, via 247Sports:
“He might be behind Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Look, they’re going to test him physically and mentally. They’re going to say, ‘come in here. You’re new to this system. You’re new to this building. You have to come out here and earn the trust of everybody in the locker room.”
He might be technically correct, but no one actually believes Newton will be behind Hoyer on the depth chart when the 2020 season kicks off.
New England brought Cam in to compete for the starting role, not warm the bench.
We’ll have to wait and see if he can get back to his MVP form from 2015.