Patriots

NFL Rumors: What Panthers hiring Matt Rhule means for Josh McDaniels

NFL Rumors: What Panthers hiring Matt Rhule means for Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels reportedly had an interview with the Carolina Panthers set for Tuesday.

Apparently that's not happening.

The Panthers are finalizing a deal to hire former Baylor coach Matt Rhule as their next head coach, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Tuesday.

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According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Rhule and McDaniels were Carolina's "top two" head coach candidates, but the Panthers were impressed enough with Rhule to lock him up before he interviewed with the New York Giants.

Rhule's pending hire leaves two possible destinations for McDaniels: the New York Giants, who are scheduled to interview him Wednesday, and the Cleveland Browns, who reportedly will meet with him Friday.

In an article Tuesday morning, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano wrote the Giants "really like" the Patriots offensive coordinator, but "they know he might not like them and their power structure."

New York already has an established general manager in Dave Gettleman who currently has final say over personnel decisions. That may be a less enticing setup for McDaniels than the Browns, whose GM spot is vacant after they parted ways with John Dorsey.

That means McDaniels would be able to bring a GM with him to Cleveland, whether that's Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio or a former coworker like Scott Pioli or Dave Ziegler.

In any case, McDaniels' current possible landing spots have been narrowed from three to two -- which also increases his chances of staying in New England another year.

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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One of Cam Newton's ex-Panthers teammates says Patriots QB 'still has it'

One of Cam Newton's ex-Panthers teammates says Patriots QB 'still has it'

One of Cam Newton's former teammates on the Carolina Panthers thinks the veteran quarterback is still capable of great things as he enters a new chapter of his career with the New England Patriots.

Newton reportedly has agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Patriots worth up to $7.5 million. He was released by the Panthers in March after spending the first nine seasons of his career in Carolina.

"Man, I was happy for Cam," Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson recently told NFL Network's Colleen Wolfe. "I hated that it took so long for him to get signed. He's an MVP quarterback. Cam still has it. I'm happy for him. I'm glad the Patriots invested in him, and I can't wait to see Cam Newton come out there and play."

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Thompson and Newton were teammates for five seasons, including Thompson's rookie campaign in 2015 when Newton won league MVP and led the Panthers to Super Bowl 50.

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Thompson is not the only former or current player predicting success for Newton in New England. Ex-Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch thinks Newton will "erupt" and have a "crazy season" as a player motivated to prove his doubters wrong. Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss said the Patriots offense will be a lot of fun to watch with Newton at the helm.

There are reasons to believe Newton will thrive with the Patriots. Just two years ago he completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards and 24 touchdowns. He played at an MVP level for the first eight games of 2018 before a shoulder injury derailed his season.

Health is always going to be the main concern with Newton, especially after he missed 14 games in 2019 due to injuries. But if healthy, the Patriots should be getting a top 12 quarterback who gives the offense a dual-threat skill set we have rarely seen in New England.