4 players who didn't live up to the hype (or price tag) during time with the Patriots

Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
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Cam Newton

The departure of Tom Brady at the end of the 2019 season brought on a lot of emotions around New England outside of the initial heartbreak of losing the greatest of all time.

Once the news sunk in, questions about who would become the next Patriots quarterback began to arise.

At the time, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham were the only quarterbacks on the team, leaving little hope of a successful season. Even with the most optimistic outlook, it was clear the Patriots would not be a contender with either quarterback option.

It appeared it was the plan to roll with Hoyer and Stidham, which made sense given the abysmal array of free agent quarterbacks that were available that offseason. But late in the summer, the news of Cam Newton signing a one-year contract with New England sent shockwaves through the NFL.

The former league MVP was coming off two rough seasons with the Panthers, mainly due to reaggravated injuries that impacted his performance and ultimately kept him sidelined. As it became a consistent issue, the Panthers eventually allowed Newton to seek a trade before releasing him a week later.

The news of his signing with the Patriots brought an excitement that had been lacking since Brady left earlier in the year and brought back a positive feeling about how successful the team could be that upcoming season. It also seemed to reinvigorate the locker room, which is always a positive sign for morale and competitiveness while preparing for games.

Come the regular season, Newton looked close to his typical self that fans had witnessed during his tenure in Carolina. The Patriots won a tough week one matchup against the Dolphins and, despite a loss, looked impressive in their bout against the Seahawks and the Raiders the following two weeks.

Unfortunately, that's when things took a turn for the worse.

Newton missed a big matchup in week four against the Chiefs due to being placed on the COVID-19 list and didn't look the same upon returning. They won just five more games the rest of the way, with the quarterback throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, and it all culminated in the first missed postseason in twelve years.

Without deep diving into all the factors that made Newton's time with the Patriots a tricky one, the excitement his signing brought was short-lived, and he couldn't live up to the expectations placed on him, whether they were fair or not.