Cam Newton had perhaps the worst season of his career last year. However, Newton is more than ready for a turnaround, and he could surprise some people.
Last year, the Patriots went 7-9, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The team was transitioning to a new regime as their long-tenured and franchise best quarterback Tom Brady departed. With a shortened offseason, COVID-19 optouts, and no training camps, the Pats never found their groove.
This year, the Patriots decided that they were going to bring back Cam Newton for another year. They gave him a contract full of incentives, and he’s primed for a bounce-back year. Could we see Cam return back to a top tier quarterback in this league?
“He’s gonna shock the NFL and more importantly he’s gonna shock his former team.” 👀
The crew picks which player facing their former team in 2021 is most intriguing. pic.twitter.com/01LxUhOMcd
— GMFB (@gmfb) May 14, 2021
Cam Newton Faces Carolina Panthers In Revenge Game
The Carolina Panthers decided to end the Cam Newton regime in 2020 as they let their franchise leader walk in free agency. The Patriots, seeing an opportunity, would pick Cam up on a low risk, high reward deal.
Things started out well for Cam and the Pats. The Patriots started the year 2-1, and even though Cam Newton wasn’t destroying teams with his arms, his rushing ability more than made up for it. Moreover, he also flashes of bringing back his passing game after a monstrous 397 yard game against Seattle.
However, disaster would strike as Cam Newton fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. He would miss a few games, and when he returned, he never really found his groove. Still, the Patriots believed in Cam enough to give him one more year. The deal could be worth up to $14 million if Newton meets all his incentives.
Cam Newton’s contract with the #Patriots has a $5 million base value, according to sources:
$2m signing bonus
$1.5m base salary (guaranteed)
$1.5m total in per-game roster bonuses
The rest ($9m) is in incentives for playoffs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro, MVP, Super Bowl MVP, etc.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 12, 2021
One game that Cam might be eyeing is the Patriots’ week 9 matchup. Newton will be making a return to the Carolina Panthers, the team that drafted him and the one he took to the Super Bowl. A rather underrated revenge game in this year’s schedule, Newton will have plenty to think about.
If he is playing well, and if he does retain his hold of the starting job till then, this could be a big way Cam can show up his former team, especially if they’re struggling. The Panthers traded for Sam Darnold this year, and so they’re in another experiment at quarterback, but that won’t take away from the intrigue of this game.
Will Mac Jones Or Cam Be The Patriots Starter In Week 1?
As of right now, it looks like the Pats will roll out Cam Newton on week one. The Patriots offense is equivalent to a earning a Master’s Degree in football knowledge, and throwing a rookie quarterback out there before he has a full grasp of the system would be asking for trouble.
For that reason, Newton gives the Patriots a better chance to win in week 1. Newton was also hampered by the fact that the Patriots had one of the worst wide receiving cores in the league last year. This offseason, they spent significant money to upgrade in that department.
Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne will all look to be day 1 impact players. Giving Cam the lead job right now seems to be in the Patriots best interest. Mac Jones isn’t just here for one season, he’s meant to be the Patriots future.
Thus, rushing him out there before he’s ready, against a solid Miami secondary could be very harmful for the Patriots. Therefore, more likely than not, we’ll see Cam come in at week 1. The question remains, how long will he last before Jones takes over?