Try as they might, the New England Patriots can only downplay Cam Newton’s arrival so much. Every move the former 2015 NFL MVP makes in Foxborough will be a big deal. The Patriot Way is to not oversell anything associated with one player. The only exception was Tom Brady, and that took some time. Still, when you look at Newton’s star level, seemingly minute events like team photos and the first images of the 31-year-old newly signed free agent at training camp will command attention.
With that said, here are the first looks at Newton at training camp.
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Cam Newton in Patriots Training Camp
It’s just stretching exercises, or as Tom Brady would say “pliability,” but it’s Newton and that makes basic flexibility training a big deal.
Newton is in a competition for the Patriots’ starting quarterback job with second-year-pro Jarrett Stidham, veteran signal-caller Brian Hoyer, and to a lesser degree, undrafted free-agent Brian Lewerke.
Newton either has the advantage in experience, talent, or accomplishments. Still, the Patriots aren’t tipping their hand on the starting QB decision.
Patriots Aren’t Talking About Newton Like He’s a Starting QB
Patriots center David Andrews will be the man snapping Newton, Stidham, Hoyer or Lewerke the ball. He’s also a leader on the team, thus his opinion matters. He wasn’t giving up any extended praise in a recent media session held for the Patriots team captains.
“It’s going to be an exciting year for us,” Andrews said. “I’m excited, especially with the guys and the talent we have in that room. Cam obviously has played a lot of football and had a successful career. I’m excited to see what all our quarterbacks can do. They all bring something different to the table.”
Likewise, the veteran running back, and another team leader, James White stuck with the same type of message.
“I haven’t got a chance to talk to Cam, but I know he’s a very competitive, very good football player. I’m excited to have him in the locker room. We have three talented quarterbacks on this football team, guys who can go out and compete and help us get wins. We will all be competing for playing time.”
That Doesn’t Mean He Isn’t The Favorite
Despite the Patriots’ ambiguity, Newton is still the odds-on favorite to be the team’s starter. It wouldn’t be respectful for the players or coaching staff to completely dismiss Stidham’s chances. No one knows for sure Newton will remain healthy and have the kind of season many believe he’s capable of this season. If the team needs to turn to Stidham, the Patriots must be sure to keep him on the same page.
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