Only 32 humans on earth have the honor each week of being a starting quarterback in the NFL.
It’s without question one of the most competitive job markets in the world, and for good reason as it’s also one of the most difficult jobs in the world to consistently do well.
But for one of the NFL’s few starting quarterbacks, their time is coming to an end.
For years, debates have raged over whether Bill Belichick’s genius or Tom Brady’s greatness were more responsible for the New England Patriots’ sheer dominance of the NFL.
Those debates clearly won’t end any time soon as Brady hasn’t set the world on fire in Tampa Bay despite having more offensive weapons than ever before, and Belichick’s Patriots haven’t exactly found their footing since losing perhaps the greatest quarterback of all-time.
One thing we do now know for sure, though, is that Belichick’s offensive genius can’t make up for the shortcomings of every quarterback, as Cam Newton has proven to be one of the league’s worst this season.
And according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, multiple NFL executives believe Newton has proven this year that his career as a starting quarterback is over.
“I was optimistic [earlier in the year],” one anonymous executive told King. “He looks like a backup right now. I think he’ll have a chance to be a No. 2 somewhere, but New England can’t win with him right now with a great offensive mind calling plays.”
Another executive was quoted as saying, “It’s crazy to think that four short years ago, in 2015, he accounted for 50 touchdowns and was the league MVP. […] [Now he] can’t throw, no accuracy.”
If you’ve watched even a minute of the Patriots offense this season with Newton at quarterback, these quotes aren’t surprising.
In fact, much of what Newton has shown this year has done nothing but reinforce the fears most teams had with signing him back in the spring.
Cam Newton has always been an electric athlete, who at 6’5, 240 pounds, looked like a man amongst boys at times.
But his size and athletic ability have always disguised his shortcomings as a passer.
He was never going to be known as a great passer and – thanks to a shoulder injury that has clearly only gotten worse over the past few years – the limited passing ability Cam did possess is now gone.
It’s easier than ever for NFL defenses to shut down a one-dimensional Cam Newton.
And they’ve done it with relative ease, especially lately, as Newton became just the 9th quarterback this CENTURY to have three consecutive games with more than 16 pass attempts and less than 120 yards passing in each game.
QB's, this century, to have 3 consecutive games with pass attempts ≥ 16 and passing yards ≤ 120, in a single season
— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) December 14, 2020
While veteran quarterbacks like Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger are still able to get the job done as they approach their 40th birthdays, at 31-years-old, Cam Newton’s days are clearly numbered.
He has three games left with one of the greatest offensive minds the game of football has ever seen – three games to turn it around and show he can still get the job done.
But, in all likelihood, it’s simply the final three games in his career as a starting quarterback in the NFL.