The New England Patriots are facing a crossroads in terms of their quarterback situation after this season. Veteran quarterback Tom Brady’s future in New England will become uncertain once he turns free agent after this season. Recently, Adam Schefter of ESPN said Brady has three options after his season -- retire, return to the Patriots or find a new team. Of Brady’s three choices, Schefter said returning to the Patriots will be the least likely option for the 42-year-old signal caller who has played 20 years with New England.

Brady slammed insinuations about his future, saying he intends to stick with his original plan to play until he’s 45 years old. Also, Brady said he's focused on giving the Patriots their seventh Super Bowl trophy. In case Brady decides to hang up his cleats for good after this season, the Patriots and veteran Head Coach Bill Belichick only have rookie Jarrett Stidham as a possible successor to the long-time signal-caller.

The Patriots have no other option at quarterback as they released Brian Hoyer in the offseason and designated Stidham as Brady’s backup. From the looks of it, Stidham is not ready to fill Brady’s big shoes and the Patriots need another quarterback who could help him transition to the starting role. Michael Hurley of CBS Boston floated a quarterback who could assume Brady’s starting role in case he retires – Carolina Panthers starter Cam Newton.

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Panthers might move on from Newton

Newton’s 2019 season officially ended recently when he was placed on injured reserve by the Panthers due to a foot injury. The injury has placed Newton’s future with the Panthers in doubt, especially with the emergence of his backup Kyle Allen as a promising starter. The Panthers could easily move on from Newton, the 2011 first overall pick, since he has only one year remaining in his contract.

In case the Panthers move on from Newton, Hurley said he could become an option for Belichick and the Patriots as a starter if Brady decides to retire after this season.

Hurley said Belichick has the option to wait for the Panthers to release Newton and sign the quarterback to a short-term deal or to trade a late-round pick for him in the offseason. “If Newton were available for low money, his experience as a starter for almost a decade will make him a better choice at QB than most available options,” said Hurley, adding that Belichick is known to capitalize on players who were turned away by other teams.

Newton’s health in question

However, Newton’s durability is a question mark since he has sustained different injuries on his shoulder, ankle and now his foot. If healthy, Newton is known as a dual-threat quarterback that could provide a headache for opposing squads. In his career, Newton has compiled 29,032 passing yards and 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. He also ran for 4,806 yards and 58 scores.

In 2015, Newton won the Most Valuable Player award after throwing for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns with 10 picks and running for 636 yards and 10 scores. That year, he led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 where they lost to the Denver Broncos.

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