Why are the Patriots still favorites to land Cam Newton?

Dean Jones
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Cam Newton
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Cam Newton /

Why are the New England Patriots still favorites to sign former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton?

It appears clear the New England Patriots do not have much interest in signing former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. But many people still have Foxborough as the most likely destination for the player.

Speculation continues to run wild regarding Newton’s next destination after he was released by the Carolina Panthers two months ago. The pandemic has not helped his bid to sign with another team. And the timing of his departure from the organization played another leading factor.

A backup job is probably his best way forward in the current climate. This would get Newton up to speed with a new offense as he waits for another opportunity to shine in a different environment.

It might be some time yet before the 2015 NFL MVP decides on a new home. But DraftKings still have the Patriots as the most likely destination with at +300. They are followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers (+500), and Washington Redskins (+700), together with the Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals (both +800).

This is down in no small part to the lingering doubts surrounding the quarterback position in New England. Newton would be seen as a significant upgrade on what Bill Belichick can currently call upon following the departure of Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.

The former Panthers signal-caller has been given the all-clear after shoulder and foot injuries over the last two seasons. A Newton renaissance is not out of the question providing he lands on the right fit.

Could former Carolina Panthers QB Newton help the Patriots?

The New England Patriots are going into the new season with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as their options. That is a far cry from when the organization was at the peak of their powers.

Whether Bill Belichick wants to admit it or not, this is a pivotal season for the Patriots and one that could eventually begin a rebuild following two decades of dominance. If the head coach wants to avoid this, then he should look no further than giving former Carolina Panthers quarterback a short-term deal loaded with incentives.

They are up against in from a salary cap perspective and have just $1.1 million to work with currently. That would be nowhere near enough to secure someone with the game-changing talent of Newton.

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One would suspect that if the Patriots wanted Newton badly enough, they would make sacrifices elsewhere. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is not believed to be a fan of the player and said as much during his interview for the Panthers’ head coaching job. While he would not have the final say on the matter, it does make things more complicated for Belichick if the head coach is keen.

If Newton is healthy and firing on all cylinders from the word go, it appears to be a no-brainer. Stidham might turn out to be a competent signal-caller down the line. But he is lacking in experience and there is no telling how he will cope following in Brady’s footsteps.

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Newton is a big enough character to ensure this Brady shadow would not bother him too much. He can cope with lofty expectations ever since entering the league as the Panthers’ No. 1 overall pick and has the potential to thrive in this particular environment.