Superman is returning to Foxboro. Okay, he’s not the GOAT who won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Bucs, but the Cam Newton version of Superman signed a one-year deal to play for the New England Patriots for another season.
The Patriots finished 7-9 last season in their first year without Tom Brady under center. Brady got the last laugh after he signed a free-agent deal with the Tampa Bay Bucs, then guided them to a victory in Super Bowl 55 over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Patriots just signed Newton to a single-year deal worth upwards of $14 million with $6 million in incentives and bonuses. He gets a huge pay bump, considering that last season, he signed for a veteran minimum $1.1 million. It’s not that the Patriots low-balled Newton as much as they didn’t have any wiggle room due to salary cap restrictions.
“It’s ridiculous that we have to pay someone as talented as Cam Newton only $1 million,” head coach Bill Belichick told beat reporters last season.
The Patriots hope that the addition of Newton will help the team lure a better crop of free agents. The Pats had several key defensive starters opt-out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns. Those players are expected to return, so Belichick won’t have an excuse to miss the playoffs in 2021, especially with the additional wild-card game.
Cam Curveball, Newton Returns
Newton turns 32-years old in May. He’s been a shell of his former self after he battled foot and shoulder injuries during his last couple of seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
Newton appeared in 15 games with the Patriots in 2020. He completed 64.8% of his passes for 2,657 yards. He threw eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions, but he also rushed for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns. His mobility allowed Belichick to dust off plays that he didn’t use over the past two decades with the slow-footed Tom Brady under center.
No one really considered that Newton would return to the Patriots in 2021. Everyone figured Newton played a one-and-done season and that he’d latch on with another team in the offseason.
The Washington Football Team topped the list of possible teams where Newton would play in 2021. Washington recently let Alex Smith go after an inspiring comeback season. They need a quarterback, and it made sense that Newton and Ron Rivera would join forces once again. Newton and Riverboat Ron took the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl in the 2015 season.
Numerous quarterbacks were linked with the New England Patriots in the offseason, including backup Jarrett Stidham. The list also included Jimmy Garoppolo (San Francisco 49ers), Sam Darnold (New York Jets), Marcus Mariota (Las Vegas Raiders), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Miami Dolphins), Andy Dalton (Dallas Cowboys), and Teddy Bridgewater (Carolina Panthers).
The Patriots have the #15 pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft. A couple of college quarterbacks were also on Belichick’s shortlist of quarterbacks, including Mac Jones (Alabama) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State).
Even with Newton, the Patriots would be wise to draft a quarterback like Jones who can learn the ropes as Newton’s understudy.
A couple of weeks ago, Russell Wilson made headlines when his agent listed four teams he’d like to play for if the Seattle Seahawks decide to trade him. Strong rumors about the Chicago Bears pulling off a blockbuster trade for an emo Wilson blew up the social media over the past week.
The Indianapolis Colts filled their vacant QB spot after pulling the trigger on a risky trade for Carson Wentz.
The Los Angeles Rams went all-in on winning a Super Bowl in the next few years after they pulled off a one-sided trade with the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford.
Now everyone awaits to see if either the New York Jets or Miami Dolphins can persuade the narrow-minded Houston Texans to trade disgruntled quarterback DeShaun Watson.
Patriots Futures Betting Market
After the news of Newton’s resigning, the Patriots are now +4000 odds to win Super Bowl 56. The Pats were +6000 odds shortly after Brady hoisted the Lombardi Trophy and won Super Bowl 55.
You can back the Patriots to win the AFC Championship at +2000 odds. They’re listed as the 10th-highest team on the AFC futures board.
The Buffalo Bills are still the favorite to win the AFC East at +160 odds, according to DraftKings. The Patriots are +450 odds and are even trailing the Miami Dolphins at +300 odds. The New York Jets finally ditched Adam Gase and hired Robert Saleh, but the LOLJets are still long shots at +1400 odds to win the AFC East.