The New England Patriots apparently just signed a quarterback with a serious ax to grind.
Cam Newton officially became a Patriot on Wednesday after New England announced his one-year contract with the team. Newton's signing ends his nearly four-month tenure as a free agent, as 30 other teams declined to add the three-time Pro Bowler after the Carolina Panthers released him in March.
So, how does the 31-year-old QB feel about the rest of the league writing him off? A former Panthers teammate summed up Newton's mindset quite nicely to NFL Media's Mike Giardi.
In light of the Cam Newton officially a Patriot, have been doing my due diligence on Cam. An ex-teammate told me Cam's "motivated to stick it up everyone's ass." Why? "Because that's how he always is." But did this delay in signing impact him? "He won't say it but he took names."— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) July 8, 2020
Judging by Newton's recent Instagram posts, this assessment checks out.
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The veteran quarterback comes with red flags: He appeared in just two games last season after suffering a foot injury that required offseason surgery and deal with a shoulder injury in 2018 that also needed surgery. He hasn't made the Pro Bowl since his 2015 NFL MVP campaign and is playing on a bargain-level contract in New England.
But that's just more motivation for Newton prove he can still play at an elite level. He'll have to start right away, too: Our Tom E. Curran reported he'll need to beat out second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to win the starting job.
Tom Brady will be impossible to replace as the Patriots enter 2020. But in Newton, wide receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu and other veterans, New England has several players who are out to prove their doubters wrong this season.