Patriots sign Cam Newton to one-year deal
The domino the entire NFL world has been waiting on finally dropped. After a long wait, the New England Patriots agreed to terms on a contract with free agent quarterback Cam Newton, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported Sunday evening.
Newton had been left on the market long after the other big name passers got scooped up, and the Patriots were one of very few teams who could conceivably add a veteran. For a while it looked like New England was content to roll with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer under center, but it appears that was just some classic Patriot posturing in order to get a better deal.
Speaking of the deal, Schefter tweeted that it was a one-year, “incentive-laden” contract. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network soon followed up with a report that the pact can be worth up to $7.5 million in 2020, presumably if he hits various incentives.
The betting implications should be swift and somewhat drastic. The Patriots were around 22/1 to win the Super Bowl at most sportsbooks before this news, and those odds will almost certainly fall significantly due to the immediate excitement.
New England’s win total, which had been around nine at most shops, will likely also rise. Most books had the Pats as a slight underdog to repeat as AFC East champions behind the Bills, and it would be shocking if they don’t leapfrog Buffalo in those odds now.
— Pickswise (@Pickswise) June 29, 2020
The league’s MVP just a handful of years ago, Newton had a fast fall from grace with the Panthers. Injuries completely derailed his last two campaigns, and he appeared in only two games in 2019. He’s only 31 though, and should have plenty left in the tank physically if he can stay healthy.
No matter what you think of Newton, his upside is undeniably much higher than anything the Patriots had previously. The move indicates Bill Belichick has no intention of rebuilding in the wake of Tom Brady’s departure earlier this offseason. The Pats have won 16 of the last 17 division titles, and they clearly have their sights set on a 17th in 2020.
He’ll probably be forced to compete for the job, but he shouldn’t have much trouble beating out the inexperienced Stidham and the journeyman Hoyer. Even if Newton isn’t able to get back to his old heights, this New England team just got a whole lot more exciting overnight. The buzz will be palpable, with the entire sports world watching to see what comes of this Belichick/Newton partnership.
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