Cam Newton agreeing to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots was the biggest news in the NFL in weeks. The report of the contract took NFL Twitter by storm.
Reactions sprung from new and former teammates as well as workout partners and friends.
Take a look:
Newton has already spoken via Instagram but a further comment is undoubtedly on the way from him and the team once the signing is made official.
Patriots Will Need to be Creative with the Salary Cap
While Newton’s contract is believed to be a bargain deal worth up to $7.5 million for 2020 should he reach all incentives, it will still require the Patriots to be creative from a salary cap standpoint.
At the moment, the Patriots have less than $700,000 of cap room, and the team will have to release a player or perhaps extend franchise-tagged offensive lineman Joe Thuney to create the needed flexibility.
The quarterback situation for the Patriots is now a layered one. Tom Brady walked away from the team in free agency after 20 years, multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, and six Super Bowl wins. He bolted for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he’ll have a chance to prove he can win without Bill Belichick.
Prior to Sunday, the Patriots seemed to be handing the starting job over to second-year pro Jarrett Stidham. The team signed veteran Brian Hoyer who some felt might be a better option as a starter considering his familiarity with the Patriots’ system, and Stidham’s lack of experience. Up to now, the Auburn alum has only thrown four passes in the NFL regular season, and one of them was a pick-six.
Newton Confident he can Win Starting Job?
With what’s expected to be a truncated offseason due to COVID-19 restrictions, it might not have been the wisest thing to hand the ball to Stidham in this situation. That might be the reason the Patriots increased their interest in bringing in Newton.
All along, the word was Newton didn’t want to come in as a backup, and it appeared the Patriots might only be offering a secondary role. Because there is now an agreement, it’s safe to say Newton has either been told he will be the starter with the Patriots or that he will at the very least be competing with Stidham and Hoyer for the job.
Obviously, Newton feels confident he will win the starting job. If he is unsuccessful, there is a chance he could find himself released as the Patriots look to save the cap room and pave the way for Stidham to take full rein of the offense. Quite honestly, the best-case scenario for the Patriots’ long-term success might be for Stidham to win the job. If he can outplay Newton in training camp and whatever is salvaged of the preseason, that would be encouraging and likely cheaper for the Patriots.
In the short-term, everyone should be rooting for Newton to lead the Patriots to glory and to slow or eliminate the falloff many have predicted with Brady’s exit.
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