The New England Patriots Are Simply Giving Cam Newton an Opportunity

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

All the New England Patriots are doing is giving Cam Newton an opportunity that no other team offered him.

Cam Newton understands that re-establishing your career with the New England Patriots is priceless.

After what looked like an offseason of preparing for the future, the Patriots elected to put that on hold when they signed the veteran free agent quarterback, who…no one else appeared to be biting on.

In the wake of Tom Brady’s not so sudden departure from New England, it’s fair to say that the majority of Patriots Nation was comfortable with the idea of Jarrett Stidham being the next starting quarterback for the Patriots in just his second NFL season.

Taking that logic one step further, it wasn’t just the fans who were excited to see if Stidham could rise to the occasion of being a starting quarterback. It seemed as if Bill Belichick and his genius staff were also looking forward to the transition with the player they hand picked in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

So why did New England ultimately decide to pull the trigger on bringing in Newton?

Let’s get one thing straight and out in the open: signing Newton was not in the original offseason plans for the Patriots. But it’s hard to pass up on an opportunity like this when the asking price of a former league MVP is parallel to a rookie scale contract – one-year, $ 1.05 Million base salary ($550,000 guaranteed) with the chance of earning a maximum of $ 7.5 Million through roster bonuses and incentives.

This is nothing more than a typical Belichick, bargain, low-risk acquisition for the New England Patriots. Even more so during a time where the Patriots are going to be more interested than ever in the idea of running a more versatile style offense that is more commonly run in today’s NFL.

On a Belichick-led team, a starting job is not guaranteed to anyone. That includes a former MVP like Newton who still needs to prove to New England that he can play, stay healthy, and, in this sense, even make the team.

Taking a dive into Newton’s recent injury history, he tore his rotator cuff and had surgery in 2016, had another shoulder surgery in 2018, and just underwent foot surgery in 2019. That’s not even including the handful of hits and concussions he’s endured since being in the NFL.

Ironically enough, Stidham and Newton both were drafted out of Auburn and ran the same offense under coordinator Gus Malzahn. The Auburn connection is more of a coincidence than anything, but it’s definitely an intriguing element of the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart.

Although Newton wins the size and strength battle between the two quarterbacks, Stidham in fact still has the upper hand in New England simply because he’s been in the playbook and with Josh McDaniels for over a year now and understands the expectations of being under center for the Patriots.

Over the years, we’ve seen how challenging it is for receivers to pick up New England’s complex offense, but we’ve never really had the opportunity to see if a quarterback can come in and understand the playbook in year one.

With that being said, there’s never been a veteran quarterback with the prowess of Newton coming into New England for a position battle. The quarterback position is an open competition and all the Patriots are doing is giving Newton an opportunity that no other team offered him.

Another thing to consider is that due to the global pandemic, teams are preparing to have an additional quarterback on their rosters that is not physically with the team just in case an outbreak reaches their team. I’m not saying that is the case for Newton and the Patriots, but it’s another interesting factor to consider, seeing as the Pats currently have five quarterbacks on their roster.

Lastly, Belichick deserves much kudos for pulling off this acquisition. As previously mentioned, landing Newton was not in the plans for the Patriots this offseason, but as time went on and Belichick saw the situation revolving around Newton, he was essentially able to offer him a legitimate market value contract in consideration to Newton’s production and injury history over the last few years.

Next. 4 Reasons Jarrett Stidham Will Succeed. dark

For Newton, the opportunity to play for Belichick is priceless and gives him a chance to contend for a championship for the first time in five years with the New England Patriots. It also gives Newton an opportunity to add to his resume’ heading into what will be another contract year for the former MVP.