In a bit of a stunner, Cam Newton became a member of the Patriots Sunday night as he reportedly signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal with New England.
With Newton being a free agent since March and the virtual offseason being over, the timing seems a bit interesting.
ESPN's Adam Schefter joined The Greg Hill Show Monday with Mike Mutnansky, Nick "Fitzy" Stevens and Jermaine Wiggins filling in to explain how it all came together.
“Well, they had been talking for a couple of weeks and I think that basically we are getting closer to camp and Cam is in a situation where I think came to the realization that it was going to be hard to find a job to step in on a playoff contender in a starting caliber role with the big money that he thought he would have deserved," he said. "All the ideas that he had in his mind for when the Panthers released him a couple of months into free agency, which is a bad time to be released, really settled in. I think it takes players some time to process the reality of it, grasp the reality of it and decide, ‘OK, what is the best situation for me to take?’
“… It takes Cam a little while to recognize, ‘I am not going to be the $30 million per year guy I thought I was and there’s not an obvious spot where I am going to get a starting job the way I want.’ So when all those things come together and the Patriots are talking to you, even though it might not be ideal, it is the one that makes the most sense.”
Now some believe this says the Patriots do not believe in Jarrett Stidham, who many assumed would be the next starting quarterback.
“I don’t believe that’s it," Schefter said. "I think you have a situation here where you have a chance to have three quarterbacks … you’re talking about base salaries for the three quarterbacks being somewhere in the range of about $5 million total compared to Dak Prescott who just signed his franchise tender for $31 million. How do you not try to do that at that point in time? It was a gamble that they felt like was not a gamble. If you can sign a former NFL MVP with the upside of Cam, why not do it?
"And then by the way, if he plays well maybe you franchise him, maybe you re-sign him. If he doesn’t, maybe he leaves and signs a deal elsewhere and you get back a compensatory draft pick. What is the downside in signing Cam to a deal like that?”
Besides Newton and Stidham the Patriots also have Brian Hoyer and then undrafted rookies J'Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke in the quarterbacks room.