What once was a quiet Sunday afternoon burst into flames a little before eight eastern. The Patriots were seemingly standing pat with 2019 fourth-round pick, Jarrett Stidham and journeyman, Brian Hoyer at the quarterback spot for the 2020 season. There had been rumors that New England was the ideal landing spot for Cam Newton, but New England and certainly Bill Belichick had made up their minds that Stidham was the future of the Patriots and was the heir to Tom Brady. With Newton’s signing, that is now up in the air.
The deal is worth up to $7.5 million for one year loaded with incentives. New England is taking a chance that Newton’s arm and foot are healthy after missing a total of 16 games the last two years, including the last 14 games last year. This is a low-risk, high reward deal for the Patriots. They didn’t give Newton a ton of money. If Newton’s shoulder and foot aren’t healed, they can cut him and not receive a large penalty.
Newton turned 31 in May. He had an abysmal start to last year where it was evident he wasn’t the same player anymore. Newton completed only 56 percent of his passes through the first two weeks and had an interception compared to no touchdowns. He is a far cry from the player he was during the 2015 campaign in Carolina that saw him win the MVP award. Since that Super Bowl run in 2015, Carolina only made it to the playoffs once before Newton’s eventual release this offseason. He was clearly hampered by his torn rotator cuff that he hadn’t fully recovered from following the 2018 season. Then a Lisfranc injury at the start of last year that he suffered in the preseason, against New England.
The real question here and the biggest of all is if Newton is healthy. It looked as though he could only make short throws. When he threw long, the ball would come up a few yards short, costing the team multiple touchdowns. With his foot injury and shoulder injury, Newton threw a lot of passes from awkward throwing angles which hindered his throw power more than it already was. From what we saw last year, Newton is nowhere near healthy. Since then though, he has had almost ten months away from the game and time to recover from both the injuries.
If Newton is truly healthy, he is in line to start for everyone’s favorite team in the Patriots. If not, New England could cut him outright and roll with what they have in Hoyer and Stidham. The Patriots seem to love Stidham after spending a fourth-round choice on him last year. They were ready to roll him out into the starting role this year. This signing could definitely hurt Stidham’s development and motivation as all throughout the offseason, Belichick has said that he would be the starter and the moves they had made stuck to that. Now with Newton in the building, that doesn’t seem to be the plan for this year. It will be interesting to see if the time off has truly helped Newton recover from the beatings he has taken and the plethora of injuries he has encountered.
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