Now, Newton’s found a new home for the 2020 season.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Newton agreed to a “one-year, incentive-laden deal” with the New England Patriots for the 2020 season. The deal is worth a maximum of $7.5 million, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said.
While it’s unconfirmed whether Newton will start or not, the former NFL MVP is the favorite heading into the Patriots training camp.
Second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham was poised to be Tom Brady‘s successor this season after the future Hall of Famer and six-time Super Bowl champion signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason.
Stidham was ahead of veteran Brian Hoyer and rookies Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith on the depth chart. He played little behind Brady, throwing just four passes last season after he was drafted out of Auburn in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Newton’s Post-Super Bowl Slump & Fallout With Panthers
Newton, a former No. 1 overall pick out of Auburn, was an emerging star as a dual-threat quarterback when he entered the league in 2011. He led the Panthers to three straight playoff appearances from 2013 to 2015.
He was the first quarterback in NFL history to throw 35 touchdowns and rush for 10 more in 2015, ultimately winning MVP that season. Newton led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 where they fell to the Denver Broncos 24-10. Since then, Newton is 23-23 as a starter as the Panthers have missed the postseason three of the past four seasons.
Newton suffered a shoulder injury during the 2019 offseason and injured his foot two games in as the Panthers struggled without their franchise quarterback. Ron Rivera drafted Newton in his first year as head coach as their time in Carolina was linked. The Panthers, amid a four-game losing streak, fired Rivera last December a week before Newton underwent foot surgery.
His release came with its controversy as the Panthers organization told the public that Newton’s representatives were seeking a trade on March 17. Hours later that day, the Panthers signed former New Orleans Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater.
Newton posted a tweet on his interpretation of the Panthers’ “permission” for him to seek a trade, confirming a Charlotte Observer report that a source connected to Newton said he “wished to remain in Carolina.”
“Stop with the word play. (I) never asked for it,” Newton wrote in a tweet on March 17. “Please do not try and play me, or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this; you forced me into this.”
Cam Newton’s telling a different story when it comes to the decision to seek a trade: pic.twitter.com/RGtSLFoc7h
— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) March 17, 2020
Newton, 31, left the Panthers as the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards (29.041), passing touchdowns (182), pass attempts (3,980), pass completions (2,371), 300-yard passing games (19), rushing touchdowns (58) and wins by a quarterback (68).
Cam Newton’s 2020 Offseason
Newton remained unsigned even after the 2020 draft and was reported to being accepting of a backup role in the right place, per Rapoport.
Newton continued to workout in the offseason, most recently posting a video on his Instagram on Saturday.
The Patriots remained inactive in finding a replacement for Brady by not drafting or finding one in free agency. All the anticipation led to what many NFL experts saw all along. Newton will be in a Patriots uniform in 2020.
He currently has a 71-59-1 career record joining Bill Belichek, who’s had success with quarterbacks other than Brady in the past.
Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire