Recently, the NBA and the MLB have announced their plans for resuming their seasons and giving fans back some of the sports they’ve been desperate for since COVID-19 shut everything down in March. After successfully pulling off an entirely video-based draft, the NFL hasn’t said much, perhaps assuming that things will be fine come September. The off-season progressed pretty much as normal, aside from the fact that Tom Brady left New England to join the Tamp Bay Buccaneers.
That was weird. Even weirder is the prospect of the AFC, and the league as a whole, without a dominant Patriots team. But without Tom Brady behind center, it seemed likely. Even with the greatest coach of all time (besides Don Shula).
“Coincidentally” around the same time the Pats got fined $1 million, this news broke.
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has reached agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots, league sources tell @mortreport and me.
Newton now will step into the mix to try to help replace former Patriots’ QB Tom Brady.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 28, 2020
Look, no one is going to pretend that Cam Newton, even at his peak, is as good as Tom Brady. And he hasn’t been healthy in years. But the dude won the MVP award 5 years ago, and we can all agree he’s better than Jarett Stidham! It’s definitely worth the gamble.
Does this mean the Pats are back in the driver’s seat in the AFC or even the AFC East? Maybe not. Newton might not be healthy, and he might not even play a snap. But even despite some recent lackluster seasons, a healthy Newton is better than many of the QBs in the league, including Stidham and Andy Dalton (or whomever else the Patriots might have snapped up in free agency), and it’s a sign the Belichick and the Krafts have no interest in lying back and letting the Bills or the Jets or the Dolphins, led by rookie and future Hall of Fame Tua Tagovailoa, steal their crown. Not yet.
Newton’s contract is for one year and is loaded with incentives, a sure sign that nobody is entirely sold on him securing the starting job. But if he is healthy? If he does suit up as the Patriots QB? The rumors of the Patriots’ demise may be just that: rumors.
Either way, things are suddenly a lot more interesting. So long as the season happens, of course.