When six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady decided to take his talents to Tampa Bay to quarterback the Buccaneers in mid March, it gave the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills, and the Miami Dolphins, AFC East teams, their entire American Football Conference (the AFC) and all others now that the New England Patriots had stepped out of the winner’s circle for a moment, until details surfaced earlier this week that New England had come to terms with former Carolina Panthers QB, Cam Newton.
Newton has been without a team and a contract since the Panthers officially dropped him during the same time that Brady switched teams.
The Panthers dropped Newton after nine seasons in Carolina. He recently struggled with a shoulder and foot injury. Recent workouts display a healthy Newton who’s ready to compete again.
Newton was Carolina’s number 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft and the Rookie of the Year. The 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, Newton was named NFL MVP of the 2015-16 season, the year that the Panthers played/lost the Super Bowl to the Denver Broncos.
Newton was unhappy about not being retained in Carolina and publicly challenged the team’s PR campaign to discredit him with Panther fans and the football community.
In an Instagram comment, Newton wrote, “I never asked for it!” noting that the Panthers told him to solicit other teams to find out what interest there was for his services.
“I love the Panthers to death, and will always love you guys! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this: You forced me into this.”
The Panthers did force Newton to find love elsewhere, but it took three months for him to find a companion.
It’s a one-year, very low salary, league minimum, a $1 million and 50,000 deal with the Patriots that’s incentive laden. With incentives, all totaled, the deal is reportedly worth $7.5 million.
Notably, it’s a new start for both. Newton, a 6-foot-5, 245 pounder who turned 31 in May, will be 12 years younger than Brady, who will turn 43 next month, August. He spent 20 years as a Patriot.
With his skill set and recuperation, Newton shouldn’t have a problem securing the starting job over second year player Jarrett Stidham, the 133rd 2nd round pick, and backup 34-year-old veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer.
Newton’s style of dress has been questionable at times, but his years of service and his stats with Carolina have been all-pro. His touchdown to interception ratio is 182 to 108. He’s accumulated 29,041 passing yards. He has a 59% completion rating, an 86.1 passer rating. To date, Newton has 4,806 rushing yards and has scored for 57 rushing touchdowns.