Fri, Mar 12, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
In a bit of a surprising move, the New England Patriots have resigned quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal. Newton joined the Patriots for the 2020 season to take over for Tom Brady, who left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and wound up winning his seventh Super Bowl title.
The contract could wind up being worth as much as $13.6 million as $6 million of the contract is tied to incentives.
Newton was interested in remaining in New England for a second season but it wasn’t quite known where the team stood. On the “I Am Athlete” podcast in February, Newton made it known that he would prefer to play in New England again in 2021.
"I'm getting tired of changing [teams]," the quarterback said. "I am at a point in my career where I know way more than I did last year. Yes, I would go back."
Newton put up mediocre passing numbers for the Patriots in 2020: 242 completions for 2,657 yards and eight touchdown passes. He threw 10 interceptions. However, he was more effective running the football: 592 yards on 137 carries and 12 touchdowns.
Newton didn’t join the Patriots last off-season until June, missing a lot of time that could’ve been spent learning the offense. He then tested positive for COVID in October. In games he started, the Patriots went 7-8. Overall, the team went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Newton entered the NFL as the number-one overall pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2011. He missed 14 games during the 2019 season with a Lisfranc injury. He also missed the final two games during the 2018 season due to an injury to his shoulder that required surgery.
Newton won the 2015 NFL MVP award after being responsible for 45 total touchdowns. He led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 that season where they eventually lost to the Denver Broncos. Newton holds the majority of the Panthers’ passing records.
For his career, Newton has thrown for 31,698 yards and 190 touchdowns with 118 interceptions and he has rushed for 5,398 yards and 70 touchdowns.
Newton joined the Patriots after being released by the Panthers following the 2019 campaign.
The Patriots did not have the same high-powered weapons on offense to surround Newton in 2020 that they previously had when Brady was under center. The same could happen in 2021 if there are no free-agent signings or trades.
The Patriots did upgrade their offensive line last week, trading for Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown. Brown returns to the Patriots after playing in Las Vegas for two seasons. Brown is a monster along the offensive line at 6-foot-8 and 380 pounds. He was a dominant force for the Patriots during the 2018 season.
If the Patriots continue to add skill players throughout the off-season they could conceivably push the Buffalo Bills for the AFC East title in the 2021 season. Buffalo won the division last year and advanced to the AFC title game before falling to the Kansas City Chiefs 38-24.