Well, that didn’t take long. Earlier this week the New England Patriots announced that Cam Newton will be the week 1 starter and has been named a team captain for the 2020 season. Newton has impressed his teammates and coaches in a big way since training camp began in late July. Any talk that he would start the season behind incumbent Jarret Stidham now appears to have been fanciful.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick has always been a man of few words. He was quite complementary of Newton and what he means to the team in his recent press conference, which coming from Belichick, holds that much more weight.
“He brings a great energy to the team. I think that’s Cam’s personality. Look, all the players on the team, we’re all different. We all have different personalities and that’s what makes up a team, that diversity of people. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. Each team forms its own chemistry. Certainly, Cam is an important part of that.”
The market for Newton was not high with concerns over his shoulder and foot injuries. In the end, he agreed to a 1 year, prove-it deal with New England that can earn him up to $7.5 million if he hits certain incentives. The risk/reward for New England is a dream scenario. Cam gets to prove his worth on a team where, showing your value is the entire culture.
Newton has the big shoes of Tom Brady to fill, in an offense without a lot of weapons in the outside receiving corps. They figure to be a very run heavy team, with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels coming up with creative ways to use Newton’s skillset.
Replacing a legend like Tom Brady is nearly impossible. However, if there was a personality and caliber of player (when healthy) to do it, Cam Newton may be that guy. Cam, in his New England threads, will be appointment television when the season begins next weekend.