Cam Newton is big mad, as we old people say the kids say.
He feels disrespected. In his words, forgotten. Left to die. Defecated on (again, his words ... kind of).
So, perhaps after a defibrillator and a shower, Newton wants to prove everyone who disrespected him wrong.
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Fight the urge to think that's entirely a good thing for you, Patriots fans. Hold off on yelling "revenge tour SZN!" for a bit. If Newton's revenge tour goes according to plan, it's hard to see New England being more than a one-year stop.
Think about it. The Patriots are right there on the list of teams Newton should want to prove wrong. They didn't offer him a contract until he was available for the minimum. So say he goes off and earns a big payday: Why would he give any sort of discount to a team that only wanted him "minimum plus incentives" much?
And if he revives his career, are the Patriots going to immediately go back to paying huge money to the quarterback position?
It wasn't long ago that we were assuming Bill Belichick was eager to have a young, cost controlled quarterback. Jarrett Stidham will be that for the next three seasons. If Stidham isn't the guy, they'll draft another guy and he'll be that dirt-cheap, groomable asset.
Make no mistake: The Newton signing was an excellent move. Sure, the Patriots seemed comfortable going with Stidham and Brian Hoyer all offseason, but an MVP became available on the cheap. This not only gave them a potential starter for a season, it made them three-deep at quarterback at a time where the threat of COVID-19 should force all teams to make themselves as deep as possible.
Yet the Newton signing has made it easy to think the organization's future is now built around one of the cheapest veterans on the roster, a guy who twisted in the wind in free agency. I don't get that.
It seems like the projections for Newton with the Patriots have been optimistic: that he'll win the job, unlock a side of Josh McDaniels that's been hindered by slow-ass Tom Brady, etc. My money is spread out over the best and worst options. I could see him having a Pro Bowl year. I could also see him being either unhealthy or not what he was pre-injury, which is why I think there's going to be an actual competition for the starting job.
The contract's too cheap to say this will be a boom or bust, because there's no way it can be a bust. If he can't play or he's hurt, the team paid the minimum for the minimum. No harm, no foul.
Now let's go with that "revenge tour" scenario and say Newton dominates.
He won't be fully vindicated until he gets paid like the star he'll once again be. If he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league, that's $30 million plus, depending on what happens with the cap. When kicking around potential "if it all goes well" contracts for Newton, our Tom E. Curran made a good point in bringing up Ryan Tannehill, a player with similar service time and an obviously worse career getting four years and $118 million after one great season with a new team.
Does Newton get more than that, and could you really blame him for asking after needing incentives to still earn under $8 million?
As much as it would warm my stupid heart to see the Patriots throw huge money at the next guy after they wouldn't extend an increasingly frustrated Brady, I'm skeptical. After breaking up with their long-term, well-paid quarterback, and with a young quarterback they supposedly like on the roster, it would take a Super Bowl for me to think they'll pay the next guy top dollar before trying it with a young, cheap option.
So enjoy the revenge tour if it happens. Just don't be surprised if that tour takes Newton to another town in 2021.