Pats Sign Cam Newton

Patriots gonna Patriot.

Jim Rome
June 29, 2020 - 1:33 pm
Cam Newton

USA Today

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Sunday June 28th, 2020 was one of the most New England Patriot days in recent history. Because they accomplished two things that are so on-brand, it’s painful. They reportedly agreed to a deal with Cam Newton at rock bottom pricing. And they were hit with a penalty for cheating. Again.

Patriots gonna Patriot.

Let’s start with Cam Newton and the deal that made too much sense from the beginning not to happen... According to Ian Rapoport, the deal is for one year and up to 7.5 million dollars. That’s one year, 7.5 mill for a former league MVP.

Granted, it’s a former league MVP coming off a foot injury and a bum wing,  and a couple of down years, but New England paid Antonio Brown roughly 9 million to show up for a game last year and embarrass themselves in the process.

But for all the talk of Newton’s injuries and the hits he’s taken over his career, he is not an old man. He just turned 31 years old. Not 41. He’s 15 months older than Taysom Hill. He’s ten months younger than Ryan Tannehill.

If you’re a Patriots fan, how much more excited are you today knowing that you could have a healthy Cam Newton as your starting quarterback? Be real. Be honest. You were not pumped about going from Tom Brady to Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

You were really having to convince yourself into believing that was going to be a good idea. You had to work overtime to sell yourself on the idea that Jarrett Stidham, a fourth round pick who’s thrown for 14 yards in his NFL career was going to be the man.

And he may still be the man. It’s just that now they have a guy who’s been the man, coming in, and he’s coming in with almost no risk at all. And a giant freaking chip on his shoulder. And you’ve got a guy who turned in a pair of great performances against the Patriots during his career. He has a passer rating of 128.2 in two games against Belichick while also rushing for more than 100 yards.

Belichick isn’t dumb enough to base a contract on two games from three and seven years ago, but you know they made an impression.

The only question about this deal was what took so long?

This has been sitting there since March, so why didn’t the Patriots jump on it then? Because they didn’t have to. Because nobody else made them. Because the market for Newton was pretty quiet. Teams were concerned about his foot and they couldn’t get him in for a physical, so he just kept working out, and posting workouts on Instagram, and finally the Patriots made a deal.

By all accounts, the plan was for Jarrett Stidham to be the starter this year. And if you went out to sign Newton to a big fat deal early in free agency, that could get in the way of figuring out who or what Stidham is. But the reality of actually rolling with Stidham, especially during these challenging and bizarre times, is you’re putting a ton of faith into a guy who has barely played in the NFL. Now you’ve got a look at a former league MVP as your starter and playing for very little

It’s a truly ridiculous deal. Not my words, Richard Sherman’s. Sherm tweeted: How many former League mvps have had to sign for the min?  (Asking for a friend.)  Just ridiculous.  A transcendent talent and less talented qbs are getting 15/16m a year.  Disgusting

He’s not wrong. It really is that good a deal for the Pats. Especially when you consider the fact that if Newton does a good job, and then leaves as a free agent after this season, New England could get back a compensatory third round pick.

How Bill Belichick is that? It might be one of the most Bill Belichick moves ever. Will it work? No guarantee. Just because you can easily remember so many Belichick moves that did work with high profile guys doesn’t mean it’s actually a lock. Because there have been plenty that did not work. And he’s never tried it with a quarterback before. A quarterback with an extremely strong personality who is going to have to fit into the Patriot way; a culture which kills individuality. That’s not to say he can’t do it, but it’s a legitimate question. 

I just know this: the pats are a helluva more interesting now than they were about 48 hours ago. And I think they’re potentially a helluva lot better than I thought they were 48 hours ago. Because 48 hours ago, I didn’t think they were a playoff team. No disrespect to Stidham, which means he’s about to be disrespected, the pats are a better and a lot more intriguing with Newton under center than they are STIDDY. Especially if Cam is healthy, because we know he’s motivated at hell. Just look at his Insta Feed.

Of course, health isn’t the only question. There is also a question of FIT. There is no guarantee that Newton and Josh McDaniel’s will mesh perfectly. Or that Newton’s way and the Patriot Way will be a great fit. After all, this is a guy who throws down some incredible looks in press conferences and posts on social media in his own font. Not exactly the Patriot Way and I would hate if we lost those hats and that font.

That’s the only downside here. That we might lose a guy who’s been quirky in press conferences and keeps it interesting on social media.

Other than that, there is no downside. Worst case scenario is that Newton isn’t healthy and fails his physical. Then you haven’t lost much. Or that he comes back and is just barely better than Stidham, but doesn’t set the world on fire and leaves after a year. Fine. Who cares. It was worth the shot. Nothing hurt. .

BUT, if Newton is fully healthy? If it works? Then you have an elite NFL quarterback who is 31 years old and he’s playing with the greatest head coach of all time. You have a guy who is one of the most physically intimidating quarterbacks in NFL history. A guy who can pass over you and run over you. And he’s doing it for next to nothing. That is the Patriots. It’s the most Patriots thing ever. Well aside that the news dropped on the say they got slapped for cheating.  That is the most Patriots thing ever.  Signing cam newton for walk around money is the second most Patriots thing ever.