Cam Newton Signs with the Patriots
The 2015 MVP quarterback was released by the Panthers on March 24th which was four days after Tom Brady declared to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The past two seasons for Cam Newton with the Panthers were filled with injuries that led to his release. Newton was expected to be a highly targeted free agent in the offseason due to his resume and his dynamic playstyle but that was not the case. Along with his health concerns, due to COVID-19, he was unable to get a physical done with teams due to the offseason restrictions.
The former MVP had not signed with a team until June 29th as the New England Patriots signed Newton to a one year $1,750,000 contract with $550,000 guaranteed. This contract includes over $3.75 million in playing-time incentives and $7.5 million if the Patriots win the Super Bowl. Forty-nine other quarterbacks are set to make more than Newton, some quarterbacks on this list include Drew Lock, Robert Griffin III, Jordan Love, Daniel Jones, Dwayne Haskins, and Matt Schaub. If Newton was not motivated enough, this signing proves that Newton does not care about money but wants to prove to the league that he is still MVP caliber. Newton stated on his Instagram “It's not a lot of things money cannot buy, but amongst the top of that list of things, you would find respect as one of those!" Newton wrote. "This is not about money for me, it's about respect.”
Should the Patriots resign Newton after early signs of success?
After 20 years with the Patriots, the future Hall of Famer Tom Brady left the organization for the Buccaneers. Almost all of the media reacted as if the Patriots dynasty has finally reached its endgame. Yet, with Bill Belichick as your head coach you can never rule out the 6-time Super Bowl winning team. The Patriots depth chart consisted of second-year Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. The Patriots would replace Brady as they got a bargain for Newton. Many questioned how Belichick and Newton would get along with their personalities but they have a similar trait as far as competing and winning games. Belichick stated, “He’s in the building more than any player on the team, he spends a lot of time talking and connecting and building relationships with those people. He has tremendous leadership.” Newton also secured a captain role voted by his teammates.
After an impressive 2-1 debut with the team, Newton showed flashes of his former MVP year as he has 714 passing yards, 149 rushing yards, 2 touchdown passes, and 4 rushing touchdowns. Newton’s dual-threat ability has opened the playbook for Josh McDaniels, offensive coordinator, and the Patriots offense. In an interview with WEEI Sports radio, Newton stated that this is a business trip as he did not bring his kids to Boston but eventually plans to do so. “This whole decision, and not to keep beating a dead horse, this is a business trip for me.” “Not only to mention, I have so much to prove. I could care less about other critics, but more or less I have so much to prove to myself.” Newton wants respect around the league and is willing to do everything to achieve that. Many questioned if Newton would be the successor for Brady and with his performance so far, the question of should the Patriots resign Newton arises. It is too early to decide if the Patriots should offer a new contract to Newton, but if they decide to, we would have to analyze their salary cap.
Patriots 2020 Salary Cap
Due to the league-high 8 players opting-out due to COIVD-19 concerns, the Patriots have one of the highest salary caps with $23,663,940 as of October 3, 2020. These players include tackle Marcus Cannon, linebacker Dont’a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, tight end Matt LaCosse, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Dan Vitale, receiver Marqise Lee and guard Najee Toran. The Patriots certainly have enough cap space to sign Cam Newton long term but the 2020 season is so unpredictable that it is not likely that the Patriots will re-sign Newton now. If Newton stays healthy throughout the season, the Patriots should consider re-signing him. Yet due to the unpredictable season, Cam Newton has tested positive for COVID-19 as news broke on the morning of October 3rd.
Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19. What does this mean?
When a player contracts COVID-19 under NFL rules they have to quarantine immediately. For Cam Newton, if he is asymptomatic he can return to the team after 5 days following two consecutive negative test results. If this is not the case, Newton has to wait 10 days to return to the team. This may be an ongoing problem in the NFL as many other teams such as the Saints and Titans have had a COVID-19 problem. Is there cause of worry for the 2020 season to be canceled? Not yet but there is always a chance that if it does get canceled what does it mean for the players. For Newton, he showcases his talent is still there and he is willing to put all the hard work in to succeed. He has adapted to the “Patriot way” and has gained enough respect from coaches and teammates. It is unclear what the future holds for Newton but at this rate, the Patriots once again found a way to keep thriving in every situation as they land a productive Newton for barely any harm to their cap space. It is likely that towards the end of the season we will hear more talks on whether Newton calls Foxborough his home for the upcoming years.