Cam Newton was the last significant free agent signing NFL fans around the league were anxiously awaiting. The New England Patriots signed the 31-year-old quarterback to a 1-year deal worth up to $7.5 million.
Newton is now the second Auburn quarterback on the roster for this season as he joins 2nd-year backup Jarrett Stidham. It is unknown right now whether Newton will be the Patriots starter at the start of this season, as Bill Belichick will most likely make Cam prove himself to earn his spot.
The former 1st overall pick played for the Panthers from 2011-2019. In 2015, Newton won season MVP and lead his team to the Super Bowl. Although they ultimately lost to the Broncos, this successful season shows Newton is capable of leading a winning team deep into the playoffs.
During Newton’s nine years with Carolina he threw for over 3,000 yards in every year except 2019- in which he was injured. His large 6’5, 245 lb. frame allows him to fire passes into tight spaces and make deep, accurate throws.
Newton is most known for his mobility. He had over 100 rush attempts in 7 of 9 seasons in Carolina, rushing for an average of 600 yds. per season (excluding 2019). The quarterback mobility factor will be new to the eyes of Patriots fans who’ve been watching Tom Brady stay in the pocket for the past 20 years. It will be exciting to see what new plays offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels draws up for Cam. The best teams in the AFC use their quarterback’s mobility to beat opposing defenses and now the Patriots will have that weapon as well.
Last year the Baltimore Ravens beat every AFC East team by using Lamar Jackson’s speed and mobility to outplay defenders. Having a mobile signal caller definitely serves as an advantage in today’s NFL. Not only does the defense need to be alert to the quarterback’s passing ability but to their rushing as well. The Patriots strong offensive line will surely help in Cam’s ability to leave the pocket and scramble for yardage.
The biggest downside to Cam Newton is his durability. He went through numerous injuries before missing almost the entire 2019 season. However, if Newton can stay healthy, he will definitely be a threat.
The Patriots deal with Newton offers very low risk and a high upside. Having an experienced quarterback puts the Patriots back into playoff contention and gives them a decent chance to win their division.