What once appeared as a weak quarterback unit for the New England Patriots has changed, as they signed former MVP quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday evening.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, Newton and New England agreed to a “one-year, incentive-laden” contract.
What does this mean for the Miami Dolphins? The Patriots dynasty may not be over after all.
The signing seemed unlikely, as the Patriots hold a league-low $651 thousand in cap space, but the “incentive-laden” deal got the job done.
Newton has struggled to stay healthy throughout the past two seasons. He had shoulder surgery at the end of the 2018 season, and a Lisfranc injury ended his 2019 campaign after just two games.
Moving on from the Tom Brady era, it appeared that New England would hand second-year pro Jarret Stidham the keys to the offense moving forward. Instead, the Patriots add a 31-year-old with experience and past production to mix up the QB room.
It’s unlikely Newton comes into New England with a backup or mentorship role in mind.
“For what it’s worth, Newton has told people that he’s not looking to go to a place as a firm No. 2 or in a mentoring type of role for a younger quarterback — and for obvious reasons.” Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer wrote recently. “He still believes he can play, and that he is a starter.”
The signing comes as a win-win for New England.
When healthy, Newton recorded at least 3,000 passing yards and 300 rushing yards each season from 2011 to 2018. During his MVP season in 2015, he threw a career-high 35 touchdown, en route to a trip to the Super Bowl for the 15-1 Carolina Panthers.
Newton offers mobility in and outside of the pocket, something the Patriots haven’t experienced in two decades.
If he’s not washed, the Patriots risked nothing to bring him.