Since Cam Newton decided to ink a deal to join the New England Patriots, there has been plenty of buzz around the situation. Newton has an opportunity to rekindle his career with the Patriots, where he can become the franchise’s driving force in the 2020 season. However, one of his former teammates isn’t entirely on board with that notion.
Cam Newton signs with Patriots
Cam Newton saw himself remain on the open market much longer in his first experience with free agency than he would have anticipated.
All that led to him eventually securing a one-year deal with the Patriots that can be worth up to $7.5 million. Newton signed far below his market value on a contract that is well below what should have garnered from another team. The 31-year-old enters a situation where he can showcase that he has plenty left in the tank to play at an elite level.
However, one of his former teammates isn’t too high on what he is entering into with New England.
Steve Smith believes it’s Jarrett Stidham’s job to lose
It has been nothing short of an intriguing path for Cam Newton to get back into the NFL will go through New England.
The assumption is get a legitimate shot to earn the starting job well ahead of the start o the 2020 regular season. However, Newton’s ex-Panthers teammate Steve Smith has voiced that he believes it’s Jarrett Stidham’s job to lose. (H/T 24/7 Sports)
“Right now, it’s Stidham’s job to lose. I’m pretty sure the guy who was on the roster prior to getting a free agent guy that signed the league minimum that’s incentivized would say money talks and BS walks,” said Smith. “And when you are signing through free agency and you are signing a league-minimum – $550,000 guaranteed and close to $6 million in incentives – that is a ‘Earn It’. That is a ‘Prove It’ deal, that is a bet on yourself. And not everybody is built for that, and not everybody understands what that entails. And each ‘bet on yourself’ type of contract manifests itself into something different.”
Before Newton’s arrival, Stidham had the keys to the franchise, with his only competition at the position being Brian Hoyer. The Patriots have voiced their confidence in taking that next critical step in the maturation process as an NFL quarterback.
It’s also hard to move past the fact that the former league MVP is on a prove-it deal that is of little financial commitment. What that signals more than anything else is that it’s all on his shoulders to showcase that he is the right choice to start.
Cam Newton Ready to Prove it
Regardless of where things stand, Cam Newton knew exactly what he was stepping into when he signed with the Patriots.
He took a deal that was well below his market value even if he reached all the incentives. It’s the epitome of a prove-it deal that solely rides on his performance on the field. Head coach Bill Belichick will roll with whichever quarterback he believes gives his team the best chance to win, and Newton has that opportunity to prove that.
It’s on his shoulders to showcase that he first clearly understands the playbook while he must display a firm control of the offensive game plan. He has all the physical traits to be a game-changing factor, but unless he can show Belichick that he can command the offense effectively, it will be an uphill battle.
Ultimately, things are in place for Newton to make his mark in New England to potentially become the long-term solution under center.