Patriots: Bill Belichick letting Cam Newton take No. 1 proves he’s going easy on him

Patriots QB Cam Newton (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Patriots QB Cam Newton (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

The New England Patriots are strangely handing Cam Newton his preferred No. 1 jersey.

Anybody know what happened to the New England Patriots forcing newcomers to earn certain  privileges? On Thursday, we learned that former MVP Cam Newton’s contract with the New England Patriots included $3.75 million in playing time incentives, which basically means that he signed with a guarantee that he’ll be under center come Week 1 of the 2020 regular season.

On top of that, the organization is giving Newton his preferred No. 1 jersey, which he’s donned since his college days at Auburn.

Some might say that this isn’t a big deal, but Patriots sporting the No. 1 jersey don’t come around very often. In fact, Newton is the first non-kicker in franchise history to ever wear the number.

This is a pretty big statement from New England, which is notorious for preaching winning and discipline over luxuries like giving players favorite numbers days after signing contracts. The six-time Pro Bowler clearly changes the entire outlook for the team in 2020, but that’s never stopped Belichick from carrying out his cutthroat way of coaching. Why discontinue that trend with Newton?

In our eyes, this will do more harm than good for the Patriots this upcoming season. Giving him the No. 1 jersey and guaranteeing that he can’t be supplanted as the starter is almost setting the 31-year-old superstar up for failure. At the very least, the organization should have made Newton earn the jersey in training camp. After that, go crazy. Give him the royal treatment, for all we care.

Newton deserves contentment considering how unceremonious his departure in Carolina was, so we’re absolutely pulling for him to succeed in New England. However, we cannot deny our level of concern with the Patriots choosing to gift wrap their marquee signing certain privileges on a silver platter.

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If you’re one of those disciplinarians who thought The Hoodie would have Newton’s head if he dabbed or celebrated, then you might want to think again. The team is already handing him all of his preferred conditions.