Patriots

Here's how Cam Newton move impacts Patriots' Super Bowl betting odds

Here's how Cam Newton move impacts Patriots' Super Bowl betting odds

Did the chances of the New England Patriots winning Super Bowl LV improve after they reportedly added free agent quarterback Cam Newton to their roster? Oddsmakers think so.

The Patriots and Newton have agreed to a one-year contract worth up to $7.5 million, per NFL Media's Ian Rapoport. ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first Sunday night to report news of the agreement.

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The Patriots were +2200 at several sportsbooks to win the Super Bowl next season before reports of Newton joining the Patriots surfaced. New England is now +1700 to win the Lombardi Trophy during the 2020 campaign.

Here are the updated betting lines for which team will win Super Bowl LV, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Kansas City Chiefs: +600
Baltimore Ravens: +650
San Francisco 49ers: +1000
New Orleans Saints: +1200
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +1300
Dallas Cowboys: +1700
New England Patriots: +1700
Philadelphia Eagles: +2000
All other teams are +2200 or worse

Newton was released by the Panthers in March after spending nine years with Carolina, who selected him No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He is expected to compete with 2019 fourth-round draft pick Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting job. Stidham was seen as the favorite to win the job before Newton entered the mix. 

If healthy, Newton still has the ability to be a top 15 quarterback. The 2015 NFL MVP played very well for the Panthers in 2018 when he completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. It remains to be seen whether Newton can stay healthy consistently, though. He played in the first two games of the 2019 season and then missed the last 14 due to injuries. He's also 31 years old and has taken a lot of hits as a dual-threat quarterback. Despite that, he had never missed more than two games in a single season before 2019.

This is a win-now move for the Patriots. New England lost a ton of experience when longtime starting quarterback Tom Brady left in free agency a few months ago, and the team has regained some of that with Newton. Newton doesn't make the Patriots the best team in the AFC, but they probably have a better chance to make a surprise run to Super Bowl LV with a healthy Newton than they would with an inexperienced and unproven starter such as Stidham.

Why Jason, Devin McCourty decided not to opt out of Patriots' 2020 season

Why Jason, Devin McCourty decided not to opt out of Patriots' 2020 season

The New England Patriots have a league-high eight players opting out of the 2020 NFL season due to concerns about playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pats defense was impacted most with safety Patrick Chung and linebacker Dont'a Hightower deciding the risk of playing this year outweighed the reward. There was some speculation Devin and/or Jason McCourty could follow suit after Devin criticized the NFL for moving up the opt-out deadline, but both are set to play this season.

On Friday, Jason McCourty explained why he and his twin brother never seriously considered opting out.

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“Me and Dev have both spoken a lot about our stance on everything that goes on — I don’t think either one of us ever thought about actually opting out," McCourty said on a video call with reporters. "The opt-out itself just wasn’t worth it. I think for us, the love of the game and the ability to go out there — we didn’t really have a lot of issues that other people have, whether it was newborn kids, whether it was things that put them in high risk or close family members that put them in high risk.

“So for us, it was strictly from a family standpoint, we felt like it was worth it to give it a try and see what we were up against. And being able come into the building, seeing the things that would be done (to protect players), I think we thought it was necessary to go through that process.

"And I think us, like anybody in our society right now, if it was something that was at an extremely high risk to you or your family, of course you wouldn’t continue to do it if you could stop it. But I think for all of us right now playing that are in our building — I can’t speak for everybody, but I think we’re comfortable with the protocols and the measures that have been taken. I think all of us are in this thing together."

While they're a bit shorthanded for 2020, the Patriots defense still is positioned to be one of the best in the NFL. That especially applies to the secondary, where the McCourty twins will aim to help maintain the unit's reputation as one of the best positional groups in the league.

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NFL Rumors: Details of Lamar Miller's Patriots contract revealed

NFL Rumors: Details of Lamar Miller's Patriots contract revealed

The New England Patriots have signed another former Pro Bowler for pennies on the dollar, it appears.

Running back Lamar Miller officially signed a one-year contract with the Patriots in free agency Thursday, and now we know the reported details of that deal, thanks to ESPN's Field Yates.

Miller will make $1.05 million in base salary in 2020 with $200,000 guaranteed. He has an additional $1.5 million in incentives, per Yates, meaning he can earn up to $2.55 million this season. 

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That's a pretty steep discount for the 29-year-old running back, whose four-year, $26 million contract with the Houston Texans (with $14 million guaranteed) expired this spring.

Miller made the Pro Bowl in 2018 and has two 1,000-rushing-yard seasons under his belt but missed the entire 2019 campaign after tearing his ACL in the preseason.

Miller actually has the same base salary as Patriots quarterback Cam Newton, who took an even bigger pay cut to join New England in free agency. Newton's contract has more incentives, though: The three-time Pro Bowler can earn up to $7.5 million this season.

Starting running back Sony Michel is still recovering from ankle surgery and may not be ready for Week 1, so Miller has the opportunity to revive his career in New England, while the Patriots are hoping to find value in another talented player coming off an injury.