Free agent quarterback and former MVP Cam Newton didn’t have a bevy of options available to him this offseason, so he jumped at the chance to join the New England Patriots to be the successor to Tom Brady.
Newton signed a one-year deal for the league minimum on Sunday and he can reportedly make up to $7.5 million in incentives. It’s a win-win for both sides with tremendous upside.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 29, 2020
Newton did not have many suitors with the only other team contacting him during free agency being the Cleveland Browns, per ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
“The truth of the matter is that Cam Newton did not have any other offers from any other teams. There was one other team that did have one conversation with him,” Schefter said on his podcast. “It was very brief and didn’t go very far, but the Cleveland Browns did speak to Cam Newton at one point in time, but those talks never really went anywhere. They did with New England and Cam winds up on a one-year contract with the Patriots, which makes all the sense in the world.”
Patriots were the only team to make an offer to Cam Newton. But there as one other team that checked in with him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 29, 2020
Newton was the top quarterback left on the free agent market but has failed to find any suitors after being released from the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason. Newton was the top pick in 2011 and guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.
However, Newton was injured for the majority of his final season with the Panthers, finishing his season on the IR thanks to a foot issue. After parting ways with Newton, the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal.
Cam Newton Has Been Working Out With Odell Beckham
Odell Beckham Jr. and Cam Newton have been workout buddies recently, so the Browns wide receiver was happy to see Newton sign with the Patriots. Beckham shared his reaction with Josina Anderson.
“Just told him congrats, he’s been working hard and God has his back.” OBJ told Anderson. “Praying that all his hard work pays off.”
#Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr. who has been working out with Cam Newton lately just texted me that he just talked to Cam and that he "just told him congrats, he's been working hard & God has his back." OBJ added, "praying that all his hard work pays off."
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) June 29, 2020
Beckham and Newton worked out in California recently and put clips of the workout on social media.
— Cameron 1 Newton (@CameronNewton) June 13, 2020
Like Newton, Beckham spent most of last season banged up. However, he didn’t miss a game. OBJ finished his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski recently shared that Beckham is 100 percent following offseason surgery, which is a good sign of things to come in Cleveland.
Browns Have Strong QB Room With Baker Mayfield, Case Keenum
When it comes down to it, the Browns likely didn’t push the issue with Newton because they really didn’t need his services. Baker Mayfield is the unquestioned starter entering his third and important season in Cleveland and the team signed veteran Case Keenum in the offseason to a lucrative backup deal.
After a strong rookie season where, Mayfield finished his season season with with 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, ranking next-to-last in both passer rating (78.8) and completion percentage (59.4%).
The Browns will be Keenum’s fifth team in five seasons, but he has a lot of familiarity with Stefanski, who was his QB coach in Minnesota. Keenum played most recently for the Washington Redskins, starting eight games before the reins were handed over to Dwayne Haskins. Keenum went 1-7 in his starts, passing for 1,707 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions.