Cam Newton signing with the Patriots seems like a bit of an odd pairing at first but it could be the move of the offseason.
In his one season at Auburn, Cam Newton set the college football world on fire on his way to a national championship and Heisman trophy. Newton, who would go on to be the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, would go on to continue that success in the NFL.
From 2011-18 Newton’s 240 touchdowns are more than any other NFL quarterback during that timespan other than Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
Newton was named league MVP during the 2015 season, led the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 record and Super Bowl appearance and was having a spectacular season in 2018 before going down with an injury.
However, his recent injury history (two games played in 2019) led to the former Auburn star being released by the Panthers and with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it hasn’t exactly been easy for a free-agent quarterback.
Regardless, Newton finally got a second shot when he signed a one-year minimal deal with New England. It’s obvious that 2020 will be a “prove it” year for the former MVP and assuming he can beat out second-year pro and fellow former Tiger Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, I sincerely believe that Newton can get back to his 2018 form and help extend the Patriots’ playoff streak.
If you’ve seen any of Newton’s recent Instagram posts, you’d know that he is staying very much in shape during the pandemic and seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder with the intention of proving his doubters wrong.
And while Newton, as a passionate, mobile quarterback who wears his heart on his sleeve, isn’t exactly what you think of when you think of Patriots quarterback but that’s probably because the position has been filled by Tom Brady for the last two decades.
Additionally, the Patriots should be well aware of Newton’s talent. In his career, Newton has gone 2-0 against New England while posting combined stats of 71.9 completion percentage, 525 passing yards, six touchdowns and only one interception. Newton has also added 15 carries for 106 yards and another TD against the Patriots.
At nearly 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds with world-class strength and athleticism, Newton is unlike any other QB in the league. And what better way to replace a former MVP with another former MVP.
Obviously, health concerns are obviously worrying but I firmly believe that Belichick and co. did their homework before signing Newton.
In his first seven games of the 2018 season, Newton had thrown 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions and was on pace to throw for 3,700 yards. Not to mention, Newton is an expert at using his size and athleticism to escape the pocket and make plays with his legs.
Belichick is widely considered to be the best coach in NFL history and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has never had a weapon like Newton on his side. Just take a look at some of his highlights from the last few seasons and you’ll realize why it may take a bit to get used to, Newton is a generational talent that will expand the team’s offense greatly.
As I mentioned before, Newton is the second Auburn quarterback in New England joining Stidham and also joins former Tigers Will Hastings (wide receiver), Nick Coe (defensive end), Brandon King (linebacker) and Jonathan Jones (cornerback.)
It’s never smart to bet against Belichick and the Patriots and the Newton signing was a low-risk, insanely high-reward move that can benefit both the team and Newton himself. Belichick and the Patriots have a habit of getting the most of their players and I expect nothing less for Newton in 2020.