What took so long?
That was my reaction when I got news that Cam Newton and the New England Patriots came to an agreement on Sunday night.
It is the perfect one year marriage. Cam Newton was out of a job, with no offers coming his way. The Patriots are going into a season for the first time in two decades without Tom Brady under center. There was no way Bill Belichick was going into the season with 4th round draft pick Jarrett Stidham as QB1.
The Patriots feed off of being able to take advantage of the system to improve. They’ve done it once again. This deal is a low risk-high reward for the Patriots. They got a former league MVP on a minimum contract, that can reach $7 million in incentives. In a league where scrub backups are getting paid $10’s of millions, getting a player of Newton’s ability is the steal of the year.
For Newton, the Patriots make so much sense. Outside of just being a job opportunity, the Pats offer so much potential good for Newton to revive his career. Belichick will have the Patriots in contention, we know that going in. The pairing of OC Josh McDaniels and Newton could be an explosive one, on and off the field. McDaniels is the one who needs to adapt in this relationship.
McDaniels can’t expect Newton to thrive in an offense built around Brady’s ability. This offers an excellent chance for McDaniels to show his ability as an offensive master mind. Building a successful offense around Newton isn’t out of the question.
Newton gives the Patriots more movement at the position by using his skills as a runner to create problems for the defense, and as a result, McDaniels’ creativity can shine because he can now use that movement of the quarterback to open up different avenues in the offense.
Instead of relying on Brady and the game plan to put the Patriots in the perfect play each down, McDaniels will have some unscripted positive plays which were never part of the prior offense. Using his arm along with his feet to make plays will bring a new dimension to the offense.
With a solid offensive line in front of him, Newton will be able to feel well protected, something that was often missing in Carolina. Considering his injury history, the protection will be critical for Newton. He took a beating in Carolina, carrying the burden of the offense for years.
In New England Newton will be asked to be apart of the team, not Superman Cam. Belichick is all about being a team, so Newton doesn’t have to worry about the heavy load work. The defense was one of the best in the league a year ago, and with Belichick running the show, not much will change. If Newton can just be a serviceable Quarterback, which he can easily be, the Patriots are likely once again AFC East Champions.
Considering the situation, this can only be a winning scenario. If Newton doesn’t fit the New England way, Belichick could cut ties at any moment and go with the youngster Stidham. If he thrives, Newton parlays this one season into a multi year deal at high end money for either the Pats or another team.