Cam Newton Signs with the New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have always been an organization who has liked to move in the dark, despite their long run of success. Sunday night was no exception for the organization, when they shocked the NFL world with the signing of 2015 NFL MVP and former Heisman winner, Cam Newton. There were many rumors surrounding Newton and his status this off-season and the Patriots were always looked at as one of the top targets to land Newton, even though the organization looked to show little to no interest in him. 

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Newton, will be coming off an injury riddled year with the Panthers, where he only made two starts and lost both of them. It was highly speculated that Newton would be holding out on signing with a team until he could land a starting position. Because of this many insiders were expecting the 2020 NFL season to start with Newton still available as a free agent, waiting for a starting QB to go down with an injury where he would get signed and sub in. The Patriots were one of the only organizations that comes to mind when you think of a team that wasn’t 100% locked in on their starting quarterback heading into this season, and I think that this situation fits both Newton and New England very nicely. 

(Picture Credit: Boston Herald)

The Patriots have been very hush hush about their quarterback situation heading into this season, but after they decided to pass on many of the high quarterback talents in this year's draft, it looked as if they were going to ride with Jarrett Stidham as their starter into the season.This Newton signing comes at a very surprising time, but it does sound like the Patriots were the only team with “serious” interest in Newton throughout the entire offseason. 

Newton will obviously have big shoes to fill after longtime Patriots quarterback and NFL great, Tom Brady left the team for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason. Cam certainly has a lot of great assets to help the Patriots win on the field, and I believe that he will be very hungry to prove he still has a lot in the tank, especially with a new team. 

For the Patriots, this Newton signing is a win-win and I believe that the organization has been plotting on making this move for quite some time now. Newton’s contract is very team friendly, as it’s heavily incentivised and has very low guaranteed money compared to many other quarterbacks of a similar caliber. If Newton has a great 2020 season for the team and decides to leave in free agency, the Patriots would still receive a compensatory 3rd round pick in 2022 for his services. Even then the team would still have Jarrett Stidham, who may need another year or two to develop which could be another reason this move was made, if the team still wasn’t confident that he was ready for the starting job. 

After Brady left the team I was confident that the Patriots would be a wild card team as I had pegged the Buffalo Bills as the best team in the AFC East. I think that this signing boosts the Patriots backup to the best team in the AFC East, and makes them one of the 4 best teams in the AFC. Newton will certainly be a new style of quarterback to watch for New England fans as he’s speedy, agile, and flashy on the field, something that Tom Brady never was despite all his success. The Patriots aren’t taking much of a risk here and this signing holds a lot of reward if it works out for them. Watch out for Cam and the new look Patriots to wreak havoc on teams for the 2020 season.  

- Andrew Gardner, UNH '23 

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