1. For a second straight week, videos on social media have surfaced of Cam Newton working out with Patriots pass catchers. Last week it was Mohamed Sanu and this week it was N’Keal Harry and rookie tight end Devin Asiasi. This is a very positive development for the Patriots when it comes to Newton’s attitude for the upcoming season. He very well could have continued to train on his own and meet his new teammates for the first time later in the month at training camp, but he’s getting a head start on things to try and develop the necessary chemistry needed to connect in the passing game. While not exactly the same, this is similar to when Tom Brady brought a few pass catchers to Yellowstone in Montana around the same time almost every year. Not only is Newton doing what he needs to do from an on-field perspective, he’s also already acting like a Patriot off it. Sure, he’s had his Instagram hype videos, but he’s already been stopped at airports multiple times by TMZ and he hasn’t said a word. He could have gone off on how he wants to prove everyone wrong for not signing him this offseason as well as the Panthers for not believing in him, but it seems like he’s going to allow his play on the field do the talking. While it’s only been two weeks and he hasn’t even met his full offense or coaching staff, Newton's New England career is off to a good start.
2. The big news of the weekend was the Patriots getting a huge salary cap boost because of the Aaron Hernandez and Antonio Brown grievances getting cleared up, giving the team close to $7 million in additional salary cap space. This is obviously a huge jump from the less than $1 million the team had earlier in the week. We’ll get to what they can do with this money in the coming days, but it’s likely the team had an idea this was coming and that was why it had such little salary cap space all offseason.
3. Speaking of Asiasi, while a lot is unknown with him since he didn’t get much experience at the collegiate level, he has the potential to work well with Newton. Asiasi is known for his pass-catching ability and Newton and Greg Olsen had a solid connection in Carolina, so perhaps that means good things are in store for the UCLA product. It’s obviously a good sign he’s already putting the time in with Newton, too.
4. Good for the Chiefs for getting the massive deal done with Patrick Mahomes now and not waiting until his free agency in 2022 gets closer and closer. While it is a massive deal and for 10 years, it’s relatively team friendly as he didn’t get much more money over the next few years as he’s only getting $6 million more the next two seasons. This will give Kansas City time to figure out how it wants to manage its salary cap down the road. Quarterback is the most important position in the league and Kansas City has ensured it’s set for many, many years. Hard to knock that.
5. While lots of things can change between now and next offseason, Mahomes’ deal is a positive development for those who want Jarrett Stidham to start in 2021. If Newton has a good year, he likely will get paid in a big way next offseason and same goes for all the other big-name free agent quarterbacks because of what Mahomes set the market at. Stidham will have two years left on his rookie deal and would give the Patriots great value at the QB position.
6. Give credit to Julian Edelman for the way he handled the DeSean Jackson anti-Semitic posts from last weekend. Obviously his video message got to Jackson as the two spoke less than 24 hours after it was posted and it appears Jackson has made a strong effort to learn more about the subject matter because of Edelman and others. It’s nice to see an athletes platform working in a positive way.
7. While things seemed to be going well for most of the offseason when it came to the NFL coming back on schedule, some road blocks have come up in the last week or so, especially when it comes to testing protocols and what the preseason will look like. More calls between the NFLPA and NFL are scheduled for this week, but while training camp likely will start on time July 28, that is no longer a guarantee.