Are you ready for a real quarterback competition, Patriots fans?
New England on Sunday reportedly agreed to a one-year, incentive-laden contract with Cam Newton. The former Carolina Panthers signal-caller will join veteran Brian Hoyer, sophomore Jarrett Stidham and undrafted rookies J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke on the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart.
Though Newton, who was released in March, surely would like to be a starter, he “wasn’t guaranteed” the job, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported Monday morning, citing sources.
Howe added this context in his column:
“Interestingly, earlier this offseason, the Patriots hadn’t expressed any substantial interest in signing Newton. That changed as he softened his contract demands, according to a source. After all, it wouldn’t have made any sense for the Patriots to sit idly by with Newton throughout the nine-week offseason virtual workout program and then abruptly change course now in the dead point of the calendar – unless, obviously, there was a drastic adjustment from Newton.
” … A source also implied the signing of Newton has nothing to do with Stidham’s performance. Considering the Patriots just conducted a virtual offseason workout program without any official on-field work, that rationale checks out.”
It remains to be seen whether Newton, who played only two games last season due to injury and wasn’t good the prior campaign, has anything left. But he still is young at age 31 and only is five years removed from winning the NFL MVP award, thus it wouldn’t be shocking to see him revert to being a star-caliber player.
First, the guy with 124 career starts, an MVP and a Super Bowl appearance must beat out a quarterback with a 16-22 career record, another who has thrown only four NFL passes (one pick-six) and a pair of undrafted rookies.