Mateo Vasquez ’21
There has been a lot of movement in the National Football League (NFL) in the past week. However, one thing that is drawing attention around the league is Cam Newton and the future that he has with the New England Patriots. After a full analysis and breakdown of his contract, the Patriots definitely signed Cam Newton to a lower-end-of-the-deal kind of contract.
He is guaranteed to get $5.1 million from the contract as a healthy backup on the roster and $8.6 million if he starts and is able to make it to the playoffs. The maximum that his contract allows him to reach is just $13 million which, in the long run, is not much compared to last year’s contract and other aspects of his position and career.
Essentially, the contract deal with Cam Newton was a way for the Patriots to say that they have a guy they will continue to work with into the upcoming 2021 season. However, he may not be “the guy” and there are still a lot of potential openings and options for who their next quarterback might be in the upcoming years.
The contract really can be viewed in two ways. Cam is being given a second shot with the Patriots, and they are interested in keeping him on the team for a bit longer to see what else he can do and truly grasp his true potential. On the other hand, this is a lower end of the contract deal and is something that backups usually receive, which might be a signal to the end of the Cam Newton quarterback era for the Patriots.
The addition of Cam Newton to the team has definitely sparked a lot of unwanted conversations. This past season, Rodney Harrison, a former Patriots Hall of Famer, spoke out vocally in opposition about adding Cam Newton to the Patriots roster and how he was no longer capable of performing at the same high level that is required in the NFL. On the flipside, this was an unprecedented 2020 season that simply is almost impossible to compare to other seasons.
Cam Newton himself missed a lot of games due to contracting the coronavirus and this no doubt affected his ability to connect with his team on and off the field. Personally, I view the contract as a second shot for Cam Newton as this might be his last chance to show what he can do with the Patriots. He was definitely not, in any terms, a standout athlete or quarterback in this past season, but that does not mean he is incapable of providing a different angle on the field and bringing something unique to the table.
While Newton has only been signed to a one-year contract, there is still some hope to what the Patriots are able to build as a team. Cam Newton in years past has certainly attracted many free agents towards his teams and keeping him on for another year allows for the Patriots to sign a lot of free agents and really create a team structured around Newton giving him and the team an opportunity to stand out on the field.
In actuality, if the Patriots thought that Cam Newton was the main issue on the offense, he would not have been re-signed. The Patriots show no signs of getting rid of him anytime soon, and many believe this is the season where Cam Newton could really be an offensive weapon.