Cam Newton is going to bring a dynamic to the New England Patriots offense that we've rarely seen over the last 20 years.
The 31-year-old veteran, who has reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots worth up to $7.5 million, is one of the best running quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen.
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Newton is built like a linebacker at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He's very difficult to tackle, too, and there are a few stats that back up this point. One of them is rushing yards after contact, and Newton leads all quarterbacks in this categoy by a wide margin since he entered the league in 2011.
Here's the top five, per Pro Football Focus:
Most rushing yards after contact (QBs) since 2011:— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_Patriots) July 6, 2020
Cam Newton - 2,307 👀
Russell Wilson - 1,367
Tyrod Taylor - 889
Lamar Jackson - 886
Colin Kaepernick - 871 pic.twitter.com/gFWWoHppJc
Newton averaged 601 rushing yards and 7.25 rushing touchdowns per season over his first eight years. He only played in two games last season due to injuries.
Patriots quarterbacks have rarely escaped the pocket and picked up huge gains on the ground throughout Bill Belichick's two-decade tenure as the team's head coach. Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady were not giving opposing defensive coordinators nightmares with their athleticism in the open field.
Newton is different. If healthy, he has the ability to punish defenses with his arm and legs, and that gives offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels a lot of options when it comes to crafting an offensive game plan each week.
We still don't know if Newton will even be the starting quarterback when Week 1 of the 2020 regular season rolls around. He has to beat out Jarrett Stidham, among others, for the job. If Newton does become the starter, we could see a Patriots offense that not only is different schematically from what we've often seen in the past, but also very exciting to watch.