A new University of Massachusetts Amherst / WCVB Poll taken in advance of the Patriots re-signing Cam Newton found that bringing back the veteran quarterback was tied as fans’ least popular option for the Pats’ field general in the 2021 season.
As part of a poll conducted March 5-9 on issues surrounding the COVID pandemic, poll director Tatishe Nteta and his colleagues slipped in a question asking fans their thoughts on what coach Bill Belichick and the Pats’ front office should do following their first post-Brady season, one which saw the team miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Among the 351 respondents who expressed an opinion, 40% preferred that the team draft a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and 23% would have liked to see them trade for a veteran quarterback. Re-signing Newton was tied with signing a free agent quarterback, at 19% each.
“While Bill Belichick and the Patriots view Cam Newton as possible solution to the question of who will be the Patriots’ quarterback next season, this is not a sentiment shared by the fans of the team,” Nteta says. “Re-signing Cam Newton tied with signing a free agent quarterback as the least desirable option to solve the Patriots’ woes at the quarterback position. Across almost every demographic and political group in the state, fans of the New England Patriots want the team to select a quarterback in the first round of the upcoming draft.
“In the decades that Bill Belichick has spent as the head coach of the New England Patriots, he has proven time and time again that he does not let public opinion influence football decisions. Bringing Cam Newton back to the Patriots for the 2021 season proves once again that Belichick is doing what he sees as in the best interest of the team and not what is popular with fans of the Patriots.”
More information about the UMass Amherst / WCVB Poll, including full results from this and past polls, can be found at www.umass.edu/poll.