Many feel that the New England Patriots reestablished themselves as the strongest team in the AFC East when they signed Cam Newton on Sunday, but one rival coach seems to think there’s a chance Newton won’t even enter the season as a starting quarterback.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini said Wednesday that she spoke with an AFC East head coach who does not think Newton will have a strong enough grasp of New England’s offense to start in Week 1. The coach also said he knows for a fact that the Patriots “love” Jarrett Stidham.
I spoke over text w/ an AFC East Head Coach on Cam Newton and the Patriots. “I think they are going to keep 3 QBs. Use Cam Newton perhaps as the wild card. I actually don't see him starting Week 1 in the offense…I know one thing for a fact: the #Patriots love Jarrett Stidham"
It seems unlikely that Newton would have signed with the Patriots if he was not given assurances he would be able to compete for a starting job. While New England was reportedly the only team to make him an offer, that was probably the result of Newton’s camp telling teams the former NFL MVP does not want to sign somewhere and be locked into a backup role.
Still, it would not be a shock if Bill Belichick is planning to give Stidham a fair shot. With the offseason already being shortened, Newton will have far less time to learn New England’s offense. He’s also coming off foot surgery, so there are questions about his health. Stidham is in his second year with the Patriots and had a full season to learn under Tom Brady as a rookie.
The New England Patriots signed Cam Newton to a one-year deal on Sunday, but there is nothing in the contract that prevents the team from keeping him on the roster in 2021.
With Newton having signed for only one year at the league minimum, many wondered if his contract would contain a clause that states the Patriots cannot franchise tag him next offseason. That is not the case, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.
I'm told that Cam Newton's one-year deal with the Patriots does not include a provision preventing New England from applying a 2021 franchise tag on the former MVP QB. Wow
Newton’s deal has incentives that could bring the total value up to around $7.5 million, but ultimately the 30-year-old is probably not all that concerned about what he makes in 2020. The goal is to prove he is healthy and still capable of playing at a high level, which would lead to a much bigger contract. But if Newton has a good season, he may have to wait until 2022 to land a long-term deal.
Brady’s contract with the Patriots last year included a clause that prevented the team from using the franchise tag on him, so that type of agreement would not be unheard of for New England. Newton may not have had much leverage, however, as we have already outlined why signing with the Patriots might have been his only option.
The New England Patriots are going to have a much different look on offense this season if Cam Newton wins the Week 1 starting job, and Randy Moss thinks that could be a good thing for fans.
In an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up!” Tuesday morning, Moss said he believes New England’s offense will be more fun to watch with Newton under center than it was with Tom Brady. The Hall of Famer was sure to note that he was “not discrediting anything Tom accomplished,” but he feels Newton’s style of play has the potential to lead to a more entertaining product.
“I just think what we have seen coming out of New England for the past let’s say 20 years, there is going to be a change in New England,” Moss said, as transcribed by WEEI’s Ryan Hannable. “But, I think we are going to see them have a lot more fun out there and Cam Newton is going to give them that opportunity for the fans, not just the New England Patriots fans, but the football fans around the world to really see how fun this offense can really be.”
Moss was part of one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history with the Patriots in 2007. That offense was anything but boring, but those who have watched Brady and New England over the years understand his point. The Patriots’ offense has been built on short passes and slowly picking defenses apart. It has been extremely effective, but fans might get a lot more enjoyment out of watching guys like Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes.
Of course, a lot will depend upon Newton’s health. If his surgically-repaired foot is fully healed, Patriots fans are going to see a different type of excitement than what they grew used to with Brady.
Cam Newton agreed on Sunday to sign with the New England Patriots for a contract that is worth the league minimum with incentives, and many wondered if the former NFL MVP chose that offer over others as a way of betting on himself. However, Newton apparently did not have any other options.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on his podcast Monday that the Patriots were the only team to make a formal contract offer to Newton. The Cleveland Browns expressed interest, but the talks didn’t go anywhere. No other team was “calling him and lighting up his phone,” according to Schefter.
Patriots were the only team to make an offer to Cam Newton. But there as one other team that checked in with him.
Newton’s release from the Carolina Panthers couldn’t have come at a worse time, as there was an oversupply of starting-caliber quarterbacks on the market this offseason. After Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota all landed with new teams, the Patriots were really the only team remaining without an obvious starter on their roster.
Perhaps the most surprising part about Schefter’s report is that he didn’t say no other team offered Newton a chance to start. There were apparently no other offers for Newton in general, which would mean he didn’t even have an opportunity to be a backup somewhere. That seems hard to believe, and it’s more likely that no other teams made offers because Newton was intent on being given a chance to start.
Newton’s deal with New England is for the league minimum but can be worth as much as $7.5 million with incentives. One NFL star was furious that Newton didn’t receive any other offers, but the lack of interest should only serve as further motivation for the 31-year-old.
Tom Brady and Cam Newton are two quarterbacks with far different skillsets, which is why some have wondered if the New England Patriots will be able to design an offense around Newton. You can count Phil Simms among those who believe it is going to work.
Simms, a former NFL quarterback and two-time Super Bowl champion, is confident the Patriots can adapt their offense to showcase Newton’s strengths. He explained why in a tweet on Monday morning.
IS #CamNewton A GOOD FIT IN NEW ENGLAND?———YES! @Patriots have changed offenses many times over the years; screens, passes to RB, play action passes; all perfect for Cam. He has strong arm and great mobilty. I think Bill Belicheck and Josh McDaniels will figure it out
The biggest question with Newton is his health. He battled a throwing shoulder injury in 2017 and 2018, and he sat out most of last season after suffering a foot fracture. Either of those injuries could linger, which is why only one team was willing to offer Newton a clear path to a starting job.
All that said, the thought of Newton playing for the Patriots is one that is scary for the rest of the AFC. Just when it looked like Belichick was going to put his faith in second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, he went out and signed a former NFL MVP. Newton is still only 31, so he has enormous bounce-back potential if he enters the season healthy.
Bill Belichick is not one to sign a player without doing extensive research, and it sounds Norv Turner is one of the people Cam Newton should thank after the former NFL MVP inked a contract with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Belichick and his offensive assistants made several calls around the league about Newton, and one of them was from Belichick to former Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner told Breer on Sunday that he spoke with Belichick earlier in the offseason and gave Newton a strong vote of confidence.
“My whole deal is, when Cam was healthy, and we were there with him [in 2018], we were 6–2,” Turner said. “Just look at the tape — played his a– off. His issue was more health than anything else, and from what I understand, I don’t think these are health issues that he can’t overcome. He’s had the time off now. I think he’ll be great.”
Turner was the offensive coordinator with the Panthers in 2018, when Newton appeared in 14 games but battled a shoulder injury late in the season. Turner was then moved to the role of special assistant last season after the Panthers fired Ron Rivera, but he has plenty of experience working with Newton.
“I think it’ll be really good for Cam,” Turner added. “And I think it’ll be good for the Patriots.”
Newton’s contract is for one year at the league minimum, with incentives that could bring it up to $7.5 million. While one NFL star is disgusted by the deal, it could work out for both sides. The Patriots had barely any salary cap space, but they clearly do not feel Jarrett Stidham is ready to replace Brady. Newton now has a clear path to a starting job with one of the best franchises in the NFL and arguably the greatest coach of all time. The 31-year-old is gambling on himself, and Turner seems to think it is a smart bet.
The New England Patriots have not only been masters on the football field over the past two decades, but they have also shown dominance in their knowledge and understanding of league rules. In fact, they have taken advantage of one particular type of transaction better than almost any other franchise: compensatory picks. And they are at it again.
This is very New England: Now if Cam Newton plays well in 2020, and leaves as a free agent, the Patriots could get back a compensatory 2022 third-round pick to help make up for 2021 third-round pick the NFL is taking away from New England for its videotape violation.
Of course, New England might not let that happen and could franchise tag Newton or try to sign him long-term, but that compensatory pick would be insurance.
Additionally, the Patriots already are projected to receive three compensatory picks in 2021:
– a 3rd-round pick for the loss of Tom Brady
– a 3rd or 4th-round pick for the loss of Kyle Van Noy
– 4th-round pick for Jamie Collins
OTC's current projections have the Patriots receiving 2021 compensatory picks for the departure of the following players: •3rd (Tom Brady) •borderline 3rd/4th (Kyle Van Noy) •4th (Jamie Collins)https://t.co/0HRRa7uOrOhttps://t.co/IvTOgCCEFu