Following weeks of speculation, the New England Patriots decided to re-sign Cam Newton. The move to retain Newton hasn’t exactly been met entirely with excitement, given how last season unfolded. With that in mind, the former league MVP has a stern message for his doubters.
Cam Newton re-signs with the Patriots
Following a tough first campaign with the Patriots, there remained some lingering chatter that Cam Newton could return for another year.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, all that came to fruition on Friday as Newton agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $13.6 million. The three-time Pro Bowler has about $8.5 million of the contract in incentives.
His deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and a $1.5 million fully-guaranteed base pay for 2021. He can also make $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses and a $100,000 workout bonus.
The 31-year-old’s contract is well below market value for a starting NFL quarterback, as the Patriots likely didn’t want to overpay at the position. Last season, Newton struggled throwing the ball as he ranked 24th with 2,657 passing yards along with eight touchdown passes to 10 interceptions.
Newton did prove to be an effective factor running the ball with 592 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns. Despite these shortcomings, the Patriots are taking another shot with a calculated low-risk move for the 2021 campaign.
Cam Newton delivers a strong Message to fans bashing his return to the Patriots
There may not have been much public clamoring from New England Patriots fans to see Cam Newton back.
However, the former league MVP is getting another chance to revitalize his career with New England. Following the announcement of his new contract, Newton took to Instagram with a hype video to send a message to all of his doubters ahead of the 2021 season.
“That’s the thing. They’ve been sleeping on Boogie in 2020. But I refuse to let them slip or sleep on me in 2021. 2021 is savage,” Newton said.
Newton is well aware of the perception around him as he heads into his second campaign with the Patriots. His struggles in the passing game created much cause for concern regarding what he can offer at this point in his career.
That said, Newton is betting on himself again with another one-year deal with the Patriots. It may be his final make-or-break campaign to showcase that he can still be a viable starting NFL quarterback. The pressure is on him to make the most of the opportunity that lies ahead.
Patriots can add more pieces to the puzzle
The Patriots’ decision to bring back Cam Newton clears up their focus heading into the 2021 season.
Newton will have every opportunity to prove himself as the starting quarterback. One of the issues from last year was the lack of standout talent around the three-time Pro Bowler.
The Patriots have already worked toward improving their offensive line by trading for offensive tackle Trent Brown. Meanwhile, the team holds plenty of salary-cap space to add more pieces to the puzzle.
There are plenty of impact players available in free agency, such as wideout Kenny Golladay that could step in immediately as a significant offensive factor. The Patriots may have a long history under Bill Belichick of avoiding flashy contracts. Still, it’s an opportunity in front of them in free agency to make a few notable splash moves.
Beyond that, the 2021 season is a clean slate for the Patriots to get back into the playoff mix and possibly much more.