Cam Newton, you may have heard, has re-signed with the New England Patriots.
The 31-year-old quarterback confirmed he would be “running it back” with New England on Instagram. His team-friendly contract is practically a one-year, $5 million deal which offers Newton incentives that could ultimately earn him up to $14 million. They include, among other things, postseason appearance, Pro Bowl or All-Pro nods and even an incentive if he leads the Patriots to the Super Bowl.
Essentially, Patriots fans would be thrilled to have to pay Newton $14 million because it depicts he had a very, very good season.
Anyway, one would expect Newton re-signing with the Patriots will help the team entice offensive weapons to join him. After all, Newton’s name still holds some weight in the NFL, and players likely want to play with him more than, say, Jarrett Stidham.
Could former teammate and soon-to-be free-agent receiver Curtis Samuel be among them?
Newton and Samuel played three seasons together with the Carolina Panthers. The 24-year-old Samuel, a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, is set to hit free agency for the first time when the new league year begins Wednesday. The Patriots are allowed to reach out to Samuel’s representatives Monday when the legal tampering period begins.
Samuel, ranked as a Tier II receiver by NESN.com’s Doug Kyed, is coming off a season in which he recorded career highs in receptions (77) and receiving yards (851). He also had 41 rushing attempts for 200 yards with five total touchdowns (three receiving) in 15 games (five starts).
Samuel is multi-faceted who could help at multiple receiver positions and even in the backfield.
His connection with Newton is established, as well.
Samuel caught five touchdown passes during the 2018 season, his second year in the league, when Newton was the Panthers’ starter for 14 games. They connected for 80-plus receiving yards and six or more receptions in two games that 2018 season. And during the 2019 campaign, in one of the only two games Newton played before a foot injury, Samuel set his season-high for receiving yards (91) with five receptions on 13 targets.
We’ve heard from many Patriots players about Newton’s presence as a teammate. It’s why a number of New England teammates, including Julian Edelman, were happy to hear about his return.
This video certainly depicts a player who enjoyed being around Newton, too.
The Patriots may not have a bigger need than the wide receiver position this offseason, although tight end and help in the front seven are areas of they should try to improve, as well.
Samuel certainly could help piece together that void, and Newton’s return may help that bring him to New England.