The New England Patriots and Julio Jones continue to look like a match made in NFL heaven. Rumors are swirling around a potential trade that would land the future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver in Foxboro.
NBC Sports Boston’s Michael S. Holley says “a little birdie” told him Jones wants to play with Cam Newton. Take a look at the segment below where Holley pokes fun at Jones’ reported request to play with Newton.
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) May 21, 2021
The words of that “little birdie” might be music to the ears of Patriots fans, despite Holley seemingly mocking Jones’ desire to play with Newton.
Holley Doesn’t Appear to Understand Cam Newton’s Draw
It doesn’t sound as if Holley has much faith in Newton’s ability to improve upon his performance from 2020. Even though Newton played with almost no training camp, had COVID-19 and a woeful bunch of wide receivers and tight ends.
Holley appears to try to make a mockery of Jones’ alleged desire to play with Newton even more than that dismissive approach to some pretty apparent impediments. It’s clear, especially when you hear the comments from Newton’s teammates and the free agents the team signed this offseason; the 2015 NFL MVP is far more respected by players than by some media members.
This contrast creates a potentially outstanding dynamic for New England, and it is one head coach Bill Belichick would probably love considering it would supply some built-in motivation.
The Hoodie might already be planning an us-against-the-world narrative for his team as they come off their first non-postseason year in nearly a decade.
Adding Jones amidst the snickering from Holley and the like would only potentially make Belichick’s motivational task easier.
Newton’s Leadership, Work Ethic, Physical Talent and Charisma are Real
What many don’t see from Newton, or perhaps they see but still undersell are his leadership qualities.
Some people have a presence. It’s not about intimidation or instilling any level of fear, they just instill a degree of confidence in their teammates and coaches. Newton has this intangible in spades. His work ethic, still considerable physical gifts and natural charisma can dwarf anyone who isn’t on his level in either category–rookie quarterback Mac Jones included.
Patriots captain Devin McCourty made it known, he “wouldn’t mind” having Newton back as the starter before the one-year deal for the 32-year-old QB was signed.
I wouldn’t mind a lot of these guys quarterbacking my team. I’ll start off by saying I wouldn’t mind seeing my guy Cam Newton come back. I thought he had a tough [situation] coming in — no offseason, no anything. [He] played in a Super Bowl and won a MVP.
Unless Newton’s skills have completely eroded, which is unlikely, he is expected to take hold of this team within the first two weeks of training camp removing any doubt who the QB1 should be in Week 1 and throughout the season.
Newton didn’t have the greatest season in 2020, and that only added fuel for his already substantial group of doubters. However, it’s unclear if the Patriots would have been able to sign Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor without Newton on the team.
Would those guys have been willing to commit to play in New England with Jarrett Stidham or a rookie quarterback as the guy tasked with getting them the ball?
Veterans rarely show a ton of confidence in rookies and unproven young players.
Also, and potentially most importantly, Jones’ reported desire to play with his fellow star from the stacked 2011 NFL Draft, might give New England the best shot at landing the best wide receiver they’ve had since Randy Moss was in Foxboro.
Belichick has to explore every option to get this done.