NFL Analyst Highlights the Only Missing Piece Left in New England Patriots Roster After Free Agency

Published 03/23/2021, 9:45 AM EDT

For the New England Patriots, 2021 is all about starting afresh. The franchise had an uncharacteristically poor season in 2020, finishing with a 7-9 losing record.


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Failing to make the Playoffs for the first time in over a decade, the Patriots have now gone all out to ensure that this doesn’t happen in 2021.

Signing a bunch of players in free agency, the Patriots are looking to get back to winning ways. That goal will also be helped by several key returnees who opted to sit out last season due to COVID-19.


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While the New England Patriots look like a much-improved outfit, one NFL analyst believes there’s still one missing piece to the puzzle. 

The one gap left to fill for New England Patriots 

During a segment of the Rich Eisen show, NFL analyst Peter King talked in detail about how the Patriots will look like a different side in 2021.

“No matter what way you spin it, half of their team will be different. Half of their starting team is going to be different from what it was four months ago,” said King.

Building on the mix of new signings and returning stars, King said the Patriots will be a significantly improved team. 


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“Jonnu Smith, who I think in that offense is going to be a big star. Returning stars like Kyle Van Noy… The Patriots are going to be significantly improved.” 

But according to King, one question remains. The output of their starting QB Cam Newton.

“The question is all going to come down to Cam Newton and what he has left. He sure looked like he was limited, for a lot of last season. He was not throwing the ball well. We’ll see if that was COVID related or whatever. 

“But, I think, the one missing piece now or the one piece that we really don’t know very much about is what’s going to happen in the quarterback position,” he added.


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Dec 10, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (middle) looks on from the sidelines with head coach Bill Belichick (right). Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Newton, who signed another year-long deal with the franchise, is a former NFL MVP. While 2020 was a season to forget, there’s no doubt the QB has the talent to lead the Patriots’ offense. 

Whether he can tap into that talent and perform remains to be seen. The Patriots could very well have that missing piece in Newton. Whether he’s up to the task or not, only time will tell. 


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Shivayan Roy

602 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.