Patriots

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots trade up in Round 2 for Michigan's Josh Uche

2020 NFL Draft: Patriots trade up in Round 2 for Michigan's Josh Uche

The New England Patriots struck gold selecting a Michigan edge rusher on Day 2 of the NFL Draft last year, and they're hoping to enjoy similar success in 2020.

One year after taking Wolverines star Chase Winovich in the third round, the Patriots drafted Michigan linebacker Josh Uche with the No. 60 overall pick in Friday night's second round.

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The Patriots traded up -- yes, you read that right -- to select Uche. They acquired the No. 60 and No. 129 (fourth round) picks from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the No. 71 and No. 98 overall picks (both in the third round).

Uche tallied a career-high 7.5 sacks with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 33 total tackles and two fumble recoveries in 12 games for Michigan last season. He's listed at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds.

The Patriots needed to add a pass rusher (or two) in this draft after losing their two sack leaders from last season -- linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins -- in free agency.

Here's our Phil Perry's assessment of Uche from his Prototypical Patriots pre-draft series: 

He lit it up at the Senior Bowl to the point where executive director of the Senior Bowl Jim Nagy thought Uche was one of the best defenders in Mobile, Ala. after South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, who looks like a top-15 player. Uche had 8.5 sacks in just over 400 snaps for the Wolverines this season. You can question why he wasn't on the field more, but that's production personified off the edge. Could a reunion with Michigan teammate Chase Winovich be in the offing? "[Wisconsin's Zack] Baun and Uche, to me, are two that totally seem like Patriots-type linebackers," said Nagy, a former Patriots scout.

Yahoo! Sports' Charles Robinson relayed some positive information on Uche from talent evaluators in the NFL.

The Patriots drafted Division II safety Kyle Dugger earlier in the second round at No. 37 overall. 

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Patriots fans will enjoy Cam Newton's Instagram video of workout with Mohamed Sanu

Patriots fans will enjoy Cam Newton's Instagram video of workout with Mohamed Sanu

Cam Newton is already hard at work preparing for the 2020 NFL season.

Newton and the New England Patriots reportedly have agreed to a one-year contract that could be worth as much as $7.5 million with incentives.

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The 31-year-old quarterback was on the free agent market for several months after being released by the Carolina Panthers in March. The whole league passed on him until the Patriots finally took the chance on signing him. Therefore, we should expect a highly motivated Newton entering the 2020 season. Not only does he want to prove his doubters wrong, a strong 2020 campaign would also give him a better chance to land a more lucrative contract next offseason.

Motivation was among the themes of Newton's latest Instagram video, which includes footage from his recent workout with Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu in Los Angeles. 

Check it out in the post below (WARNING: the video contains some NSFW language).

Newton is not guaranteed to win the starting quarterback job for the Patriots. He should receive tough competition from 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham, who impressed in last year's training camp and preseason.

It's still hard to bet against Newton, though. The former league MVP is clearly determined to show he's still one of the top 12 or 15 quarterbacks in pro football and get his career back on track.

This list of QBs with more guaranteed money than Cam Newton in 2020 is crazy

This list of QBs with more guaranteed money than Cam Newton in 2020 is crazy

The New England Patriots didn't have to make a huge financial commitment to add Cam Newton to their roster for the 2020 NFL season.

Newton and the Patriots reportedly have agreed to a one-year contract that could be worth up to $7.5 million. The veteran quarterback's contract has a $1.05 million base salary and up to $6.45 million in incentives, per reports. 

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One of the most interesting parts of Newton's contract is his $550,000 in guaranteed money, which isn't a lot, to say the least. In fact, the list of quarterbacks with more guaranteed money in their contract for next season is pretty crazy.

Bleacher Report tweeted the following list Thursday:

There's a good chance none of the quarterbacks listed above will be their team's starter in Week 1. Almost all of them will be backups throughout 2020.

Perhaps the most intriguing name on the list is Jarrett Stidham, who was the favorite to replace Tom Brady as the Patriots' starting quarterback before Newton's arrival. Stidham still has a chance to win the starter job, but if Newton is healthy, it's hard to imagine the 31-year-old veteran losing that competition. 

Either way, the Patriots have not taken much of a risk by acquiring Newton. If he's healthy and plays well, his contract will be among the best values in the league. If it doesn't work out, the Patriots didn't sacrifice a lot of salary cap space to take the chance. It's the classic low-risk, high-reward scenario.

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