At long last, Cam Newton finally is off the market as the former Carolina Panthers quarterback reportedly agreed to a contract with the New England Patriots on Sunday.
Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, was released by the Panthers in March after missing almost all of last season with a foot injury. Still only 31 years old, Newton should have been snapped up quickly had the coronavirus pandemic not hampered teams' ability to have their medical staff check out his foot and throwing shoulder, which he surgically repaired in 2019.
The Patriots' deal with Newton reportedly is a one-year contract worth up to $7.5 million, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
That's a steal for a former league MVP by any measure, and 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman found it ridiculous that the Patriots are getting Newton on such a bargain contract.
How many former League MVPs have had to sign for the min? (Asking for a friend.) just ridiculous. A transcendent talent and less talented QBs are getting 15/16m a year. Disgusting https://t.co/eZycGL8qkZ— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) June 29, 2020
No argument here.
When healthy, Newton still has the ability to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He's a dynamic athlete who can beat teams with his arm and his legs, something that's becoming a necessity in the modern NFL. The minute he hit the free-agent market, he should have given a lucrative multi-year contract on par with his résumé and talent level. The Chicago Bears are going to trade a fourth-round pick for the right to pay Nick Foles, who was awful last season, $24 million, while the Patriots added Newton on a laughably cheap deal for a former MVP.
The fact that Newton wasn't signed the second he hit the free-agent market by one of the many teams in need of a quarterback facelift -- and instead had to wait to sign a bargain deal with the Patriots -- is indeed disgusting.
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After losing Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason, the Patriots were set to enter the season with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as their quarterback options. But with Newton still available in June, Bill Belichick was able to add a player who has tormented his defenses in past seasons and gives them the opportunity to compete for the AFC title without Brady.
If Newton is fully healthy, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should be able to get creative reinventing an offense that had a glorified statue behind the line in Brady for the past 20 years.
Sherman and the 49ers will get to see a motivated Newton up close when they face the Patriots in Week 7. A matchup that got a little more interesting now that Stidham likely won't be taking the snaps in Foxboro.