I think they should probably spend their time trying to develop their two third-round tight ends rather than converting the 32 year old guy who's never played the position. It might be an interesting idea as a gadget-y run/pass threat near the goal line if he were still on the team as the backup QB, but otherwise, I see no upside nor do I see Cam even remotely entertaining the idea. Further, he's not even remotely the same athlete as when he terrified those writers by schooling high school kids in a flag football game.
I don't believe anyone has argued that Cam Newton is the future at TE for the Patriots. I see the possibility of experimenting with Newton, at a position that numerous talent evaluators believed naturally fit his skill set and body type, as a continuation of Belichick's oft demonstrated willingness to explore novel ideas and his expertise at putting players in the best situation to exploit their talents. If you don't place much import in the opinions of the writers of the articles cited, do those of respected college coaches move the needle at all? Do you think their insights were based on his performance against high school age flag football players?
To me, it's clear that Newton's arm/shoulder is shot. His mechanics are terrible possibly due to compensating for the injury. He can't make the throws an NFL QB needs to make and his touch/accuracy has never been a strength.
What aspects of his athleticism have deteriorated since then? Obviously, he may not be as fast or elusive as he was when he was younger, but how do you think his measurables today would compare with the average TE in the league?
As you admit, and, as I stated in my response to Jones, I'd envision his usage as a Red Area/Goal Line threat. However, unlike you, I could see Newton able to contribute in a broader role.
Obviously, as I also mentioned, this "experiment" would only happen if Newton was willing to fully commit to whatever the team asks him to do and his believing in Belichick's ability to get the best out of his players no matter their traditional position.
Where you see "no upside," I can't see any downside to exploring the possibilities of utilizing Newton's current skill set to it's fullest potential. Since he has demonstrated he can no longer make the throws he needs to make, why not try something novel and, dare I say, fun?
Would this experiment distract the team's focus from developing their young talent at TE? I find that hard to believe.
Do you think, based on the talent evaluators who thought he'd excel at TE when he was younger and given his current athletic ability, that Newton may be able to play as an effective pass-catching TE in the NFL? Is it worth exploring his potential at the position given the team's record, the current roster, and his seeming inability to play QB at a high level any longer?
What is there to lose?