Will Cam Newton and the Patriots Boom or Bust?
3 months ago, the Carolina Panthers released their MVP-winning quarterback Cam Newton. But then, Tom Brady left the Patriots, leaving a perfect match waiting to happen. Monday, the Patriots and Cam Newton reached an agreement for a 1-year contract, where neither party has much to lose. So the question is, will the Patriots explode off of this acquisition, or will the veteran send them further in the wrong direction.
The first question to ask is will Cam Newton even start? He is competing for a starting role against rookie Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. Based on resume alone, it is clear Newton should be the starter, however, he is coming off injuries and may not be the Patriot’s best choice come the start of the season.
While Newton’s injuries may cause him not to be 100%, they also allowed the Patriots to sign him for a lot less than if he were healthy. The Patriots reportedly signed him for the league minimum, so even if he is a bust the Patriots will not be losing an insane amount of money. The same cannot be said for their signing of Antonio Brown last season.
While Cam Newton passed a physical before being signed, no one really knows how healthy he is. With COVID-19, no teams were able to work him out. Newton endured a shoulder injury in 2018 and a foot injury last year.
After winning the Heisman and being picked #1 in the 2011 draft, Newton was a star quarterback for his first few NFL seasons, leading up to an MVP in 2015, however, after that, he started to fall off. His production was slow from 2016-2017, in part due to a weak offense, and then when he started his comeback in 2018, it was plagued by injuries. Newton sat out 14 of his 16 games during the 2019 season, however he may be on the come up yet again.
While thus far, it seems as though the move to Newton was a good one, there are still downsides. The Patriots need to rebuild, and Newton is not young. Some say it might make more sense to try and develop Stidham instead of playing a veteran when the rest of the team is not great anyway. Others say the Patriots need to draft a quarterback, however, they have already lost draft picks for their cheating, so they do not have many picks to spare.
Overall, I think that acquiring Cam Newton was the correct choice for the Patriots, as it was a low-risk, high reward move. While if Newton is a bust, it will not really matter, as he did not cost too much and the Patriots were not expecting to be good this year either way. However, if he is good, then that is great for the Patriots.
And who knows, in a division as bad as the AFC East, anything could happen.
Avi Paulson is a student at the College Preparatory School. He lives in the Bay Area, and is an avid viewer of baseball. He plays various sports, and is a writer for At the Buzzer.