It has been nothing short of an interesting offseason for Cam Newton as he ventures into the next chapter of his career. Newton is set to begin his first year with the New England Patriots, where much excitement has risen around his next NFL stomping grounds. There has also been plenty of doubt sprung up about how much he has left in the tank. With that in mind, another coach has provided even more motivation to dominate the 2020 season.
Cam Newton’s new opportunity
Cam Newton nearly floated in free agency for three months before signing with the Patriots in late June.
That saw several teams elect to pass up on adding him to the mix this offseason. It all came down to Newton deciding to sign a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million with New England. It’s a contract that is well below his market value that contains only $1.1 million in base salary with incentives to reach that full financial potential.
The 31-year-old is stepping into a scenario where he will have the chance to prove that he’s still one of the best quarterbacks. However, that also comes with those doubting his ability at this stage in his career.
An NFL coach says Cam Newton is past his prime
Since Cam Newton signed with the Patriots, there has been a fair amount of doubt directed at the former league MVP.
That was once again the case with an NFL coach telling Mike Sando of The Athletic that he believes Newton’s best years are behind him.
“I don’t think he is Superman anymore,” a coach who placed Newton in the third tier said. “Remember when (Colin) Kaepernick became vegan, changed his body and he just wasn’t as dynamic of an athlete anymore? Cam was 265 and bigger than everybody. He looks skinny now like he is 235 and wants to have ripped abs, and that’s his choice. Is he going to have that power running element?”
The NFL coach appears to be going off the three-time Pro Bowler’s changed diet to becoming a vegan as his reasoning. Newton chose to head that route to help him regain the health and feeling his body that he felt earlier in his career. It seems quite foolish to base Newton’s chances for success or failure in the 2020 season on that aspect alone.
It could be a fair point to suggest that his recent injury history may continue to pile to prevent him from playing at the same level. Newton is coming off a pair of serious injuries that haven’t allowed him to perform. If anything, this latest dialogue provides more bulletin board material to go off next season.
Plenty to prove in 2020
For the first time in his career since his rookie campaign, Cam Newton is competing for the starting job.
However, the Patriots don’t have any financial burden to play him with a contract that could pay him out just $1.1 million. It’s on Newton’s shoulders to prove he deserves the starting spot to maintain New England’s sustained success. Beyond that, it may be his last opportunity to showcase that he is still a highly effective starting NFL quarterback.
Newton knew that would be the challenge once he signed the deal with the franchise. The pressure is on him to prove that his best days are not behind him and that he can be the reason the Patriots can vie for another Super Bowl in 2020.