Cam Newton will become a New England Patriot for the 2020 season after agreeing to an incentive-laden one-year contract. The Patriots held off on adding a quarterback as they talked up Jarrett Stidham as the starter. But, no matter the talk, it was difficult to see Stidham leading the Patriots to anything other than a high drat pick.
The deal the Patriots got on Newton couldn’t be much better. They had little cap space remaining, so needed a deal on Newton and it looks like they’ll get one. They’ll need to move money around, but Newton is taking a big pay cut to play for the chance to start and rejuvenate his career after multiple injuries.
The corona virus pandemic kept Newton from taking physicals and working out for teams, so he was in a bind. No team would commit much money or multiple years to the veteran signal-caller. The interest was likely more intense than was shown through reports, but teams just couldn’t wait long enough to get a good look at Newton post-Lisfranc surgery.
Newton’s likely bottom of the barrel contract doesn’t make him the automatic starter based on investment, but there’s no-doubt that Newton is the better quarterback when healthy. After news broke that Newton was going to the Patriots odds for winning the Super Bowl, AFC and AFC East went up while Newton’s odds for winning Comeback Player of the year shot up from +1400 to +600.
There’s little doubt that DraftKings Sportsbook believes Newton will start with these odds updates. Another sign is that Newton is favored -400 to start Week 1 while Stidham is at +300. Video of Newton shows that he is healthy enough to post a video of him practicing, so he’s at the very least, on track with his rehab.
The only thing that would likely keep him from starting Week 1 would be a setback with his foot or shoulder. Newton’s second and last shoulder surgery came in the offseason between 2018 and 2019. All reports from training camp were positive and he showed that he had his deep ball back. Unfortunately, he suffered a Lisfranc injury in his foot in preseason and ended up playing just two games before the foot injury ended his season.
He’s now had plenty of time to give his shoulder rest and plenty of rehab, so I’m not going to worry about that injury. Lisfranc can severely hinder receivers who need to make hard cuts on a regular basis, but hasn’t been a big deterrent for quarterbacks. Could it slow down his rushing attempts? Yes, but the odds of that are difficult to predict.
Will he be the 2015 version of Cam Newton, who won the MVP? I don’t know. Will he start Week 1 in 2020? I’d put my money on YES.
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