Unfortunately for Cam Newton, he might want to prepare to be humbled upon arriving in Foxboro.
Newton, a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2015 NFL MVP, made it abundantly clear via an expletive-laden Instagram post Sunday that he’s growing tired of being modest. The veteran quarterback has every reason to be highly motivated, as it took him roughly three months to find a job after being released by the Carolina Panthers in late March.
Newton will have the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong with the Patriots, who signed the 31-year-old in a low-risk move that has the potential to produce a high reward. But as former Patriot Rob Ninkovich explained Monday, nothing will be given to Newton in New England.
“Yeah, I mean, he might be humbled when he walks onto the field as the third quarterback,” Nikovich said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “Look, I’m just gonna tell you, the Patriots and the way that they function is they compete and Bill is going to tell everybody on that roster, ‘There are no starters right now. You’re going to have to come into this building, you’re going to have to compete for a job and we’re going to select the best guys for each position.’ Competition brings out the best in everybody. Look, there’s a physical side to football. We all know that. But there’s also a mental side to football. I’ve been in this position where you have started for a long time in the NFL and you walk into a second-string or a third-string huddle, you look around — it can be a little bit tough to look around and say, ‘Hey, I’m not the No. 1 right now.’ It can really check you.
“So, I think that, for him, it’s going to be a mental and physical test. Look, he had a Lisfranc injury. Those are not easy to come back from. He looks great right now working out, throwing the ball around, but he doesn’t have a rush on him, he doesn’t have guys blitzing, hitting him from all different directions. So, look, he’s going to have to go into that building, he’s going to have to earn his spot. His contract is one of those where you have to go out and earn it. He doesn’t have any real, guaranteed money to where you’re like, ‘He’s the starter.’ If he signed a $50 million contract, he’d be the starter. He signed a league-minimum contract. He’s going to have to go in and compete.”
Another former Patriot, Damien Woody, doesn’t seem to have any concerns about Newton’s willingness to compete in New England. In fact, the ex-center believes Newton will be a good fit with the Patriots and should mesh well with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.