Just when it looked like Cam Newton was going to have to wait for a QB to go down during preseason, the New England Patriots stepped up and reportedly signed Newton to a 1-year deal worth $7.5 million.
Sure the health concerns about Newton are justified but when you look closely at what the Patriots are going to expect from Newton in their ball control offense you can instantly see why the Jets, Bills, and Dolphins attempt to dethrone the Patriots from its stronghold on the AFC East might be sidelined for another a year or two.
I’m not saying the Patriots are suddenly favorites to win the Super Bowl, but Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have a great track record of resurrecting players’ careers who are on the backside of career mountain.
Newton could have easily been signed by at least 6 other teams to be a starting QB this year, but everyone turned their backs on Newton. His former team, the Panthers clearly wanted to make things tough on Newton as they purposely released him after most of the high profile jobs had been taken. That was followed by the rest of the league showing very little interest in Newton. Even the Jaguares stayed clear of Newton and opted to ride the weak arm of Garden Minshew.
The NFL is Outfoxed by Belichick
The reality is Belichick just outfoxed the league yet again with another one of those low-risk, high-rewards moves that the rest of the NFL team were afraid to make for some strange bizarre reason. While I have no concrete proof – I bet Belichick intended on signing Newton months ago but waited to see what the rest of the league did. Months later with no apparent offers on the table, Belichick swoops in and signs Newton for significantly less then anyone thought you could get Newton for – welcome to yet another example of the Patriot way.
A healthy Newton gives the Patriots a whole bunch of other options that the great Tom Brady never brought to the table. The most notable being Newton’s ability to run. In 2018 Newton played in 14 games and rushed for just under 500 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. In the air, he passed for nearly 3,400 yards and threw 24 touchdown passes.
To be clear Newton is not Brady, but Belichick is a master of game planning and with Newton’s diverse skill set this opens up a whole new chapter of game schemes that should make the Patriots offense unpredictable for most of the season which is how Belichick likes to roll. It’s like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates – “My mama always said ‘Life is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re gonna get.’
The Mighty Line
In the event that the 2018 version of Cam Newton shows up, the rest of the AFC East will most likely be looking at yet another Patriot division title. The Patriots have won 11 titles in a row and since 2005, they have won an astonishing 16 division titles in 17 seasons.
Sure everyone thought the Patriots division dynasty was dead before today, but now with Newton under center, let’s just say it ain’t over yet.