Free Agent QB Cam Newton Signs with the New England Patriots

Free agent quarterback Cam Newton has signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, as the Patriots contend with a post-Brady world.

Cam Newton, formerly of the Carolina Panthers, has had a couple of bad seasons as of late, with many fans dismissing him as ‘washed up’. But although there are some detractors, Newton was once named NFL MVP and played against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

The decision to sign the former Panthers QB is the Patriots’ attempt at replacing the most decorated quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady. The one-year deal will limit the financial pain experienced by the Patriots if Newton’s injured foot doesn’t heal, his performance continues to decline, or he doesn’t fit in with Josh McDaniels’ offensive system.

A Magnificent Opportunity for Newton

Newton has never had a better chance of becoming the starting quarterback for a major NFL power. He will compete with fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and Brady’s backup Brian Hoyer.

Although the Patriots were said to be high on the young Stidham as their starting quarterback, the organization was unwilling to take the risk of throwing an untested signal caller into a decisive season.

Despite signing Newton, the Patriots haven’t changed their stance on Stidham as a QB for the future. They hope that the added dynamic of Newton on the team will allow them to see whether their young 2019 draft pick has what it takes to rise up.

Newton, on the other hand, has opted for a short contract in an effort to prove he still has what it takes. For Coach Bill Belichick this is a perfect situation for him, where three QBs have to prove they have what it takes.

Belichick, who has praised Newton on multiple occasions, said of Newton back in 2017, “When you’re talking about mobile quarterbacks, guys that are tough to handle, tackle, can throw, run, make good decisions – I mean, I would put Newton at the top of the list.”

Can Newton Be the Player of the Past?

The Patriots are notorious for their hard and intense training value. The typically flamboyant Newton doesn’t appear to be a perfect fit for the type of culture and the values enthused by the Patriots. However, if Newton can regain the stardust of his MVP year, the Patriots could find themselves comfortably moving on from the Brady era.

Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty spoke on his Double Coverage podcast, “I’m excited. Bill always says it: “The goal for any good team is to have as many good players as possible”. Cam Newton is a former MVP of this league, played in the Super Bowl, that caliber of a player.”

The major worry regarding Newton is how injury-prone he’s become over the past few years. Since his Super Bowl season, he hasn’t managed to recapture his form.

Currently, Newton is trying to work his way through a major foot injury. But if Newton isn’t the package the Patriots expected, the nature of his one-year deal will protect them from sustaining a liability on the team.

 

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Sacha

6 July 2020
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