Shortly after the news broke that Cam Newton will be back on the Patriots, Stephen A. Smith went off on First Take.
Cam Newton’s new contract is worth close to $14 million
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Cam Newton’s new contract with the Patriots is worth close to $14 million. About $6 million of the deal is tied to incentives.
Newton really struggled for the Patriots in 2020. In 15 starts, he threw for 2,657 yards while completing 65.8% of his passes. The three-time Pro Bowler had more interceptions (10) than touchdown passes (8).
Before testing positive for COVID-19 in October, Newton played well in New England. However, the former Carolina Panthers superstar didn’t even look like an NFL-caliber QB once he returned to the lineup.
The Patriots went 7-9 last season, missing the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 campaign. The make matters even worse, Tom Brady guided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl.
On the “I Am Athlete” podcast in late February with Brandon Marshall, Fred Taylor, and Chad Johnson, Newton said he couldn’t end his NFL career after playing so poorly in 2020. The former MVP is certainly looking forward to proving his critics wrong and playing in Year 2 under Bill Belichick.
While several NFL fans are happy that Cam Newton is getting a second shot on the Patriots, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is one of the few pundits who isn’t pleased.
Stephen A. Smith reacts to Cam Newton returning to New England
Stephen A. Smith believes Cam Newton made a mistake re-signing with the Patriots. The ESPN star is concerned about New England’s lack of offensive weapons for Newton.
“I just think it’s a bad situation for Cam,” Smith said. “Because you’re bereft of weapons. I’m looking at the accuracy or lack thereof. Because you don’t have the requisite weapons necessary, you don’t have anybody on your team that you can sit up there and say, ‘Throw it to me, I’m open.’ They have nobody like that.
“You’re surrounded by imperfection. And because that’s the reality of the situation, it’s why I don’t like it. It’s not that I think Cam is finished. I’ve never been fond of his accuracy throwing the ball, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a stud athlete. But when it comes to Cam, I think you’re asking a lot for him because of what you’re surrounding him with.”
The Patriots don’t have any explosive wide receivers, which is why Smith isn’t a fan of Newton going back to New England. It will be interesting to see how the former No. 1 overall pick does in 2021.
In 2020, the Patriots only averaged 20.4 points per game, which was 27th in the NFL. For New England to make the playoffs in 2021, Cam Newton and Co. will have to put more points on the board.
The Patriots’ old QB made moves on Friday as well
On the same day Cam Newton re-signed with the Patriots, Tom Brady signed a four-year contract extension with the Bucs that voids to a one-year extension. The seven-time Super Bowl champion saved Tampa Bay $19 million against the cap.
The NFL world can’t wait for the Patriots to host the Bucs in 2021. That is going to be an emotional game for Brady and New England fans.
Stats courtesy of Football Reference.