The Cam Newton era in New England is officially underway.
After playing his first nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Newton signed with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots this summer. Newton is competing with Brian Hoyer and second-year signal-caller Jarrett Stidham for the right to replace Tom Brady behind center.
How are things going in New England? Just a few days into padded practice, one Patriots coach already publicly commented on Newton’s work ethic.
Cam Newton had an excellent career in Carolina
In need of a franchise quarterback, the Carolina Panthers used the top selection in the 2011 NFL draft on Auburn’s Cam Newton.
Newton left Carolina not only as one of the greatest players in team history, but one of the league’s top quarterbacks from the last decade.
Newton completed 59.5% of his passes for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns, and 108 interceptions across 125 games — all but one as a starter — in nine seasons.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Newton won NFL MVP honors in 2011 and took the Panthers to the Super Bowl that year.
A foot injury limited Newton to only two games last season. Carolina cut Newton in March and replaced him with Teddy Bridgewater, most recently of New Orleans.
New England signed Newton in June to a one-year deal with a $1.05 base salary and $550,000 in guaranteed money.
Newton can earn up to $7.5 million in the incentive-laden contract.
Newton could replace Tom Brady in New England
Cam Newton was linked to the New England Patriots for months, even as it appeared the two wouldn’t ever connect.
New England finally pulled the trigger in late-June. Newton is competing for the right to replace Tom Brady, who left New England after 20 years to join the Tamp Bay Buccaneers.
Another veteran quarterback, Brian Hoyer, and second-year signal-caller Jarrett Stidham are also in the mix.
Stidham suffered a hip injury and is expected to miss a few weeks. New England has not signed a potential third quarterback to sit behind Newton and Hoyer.
One Patriots coach already commented on Newton’s work ethic
Cam Newton is adjusting to a new NFL world.
Newton has never played an NFL game without Ron Rivera as his coach. The veteran quarterback didn’t see the field after Carolina fired Rivera midway through last season.
The transition from Rivera and Carolina to Bill Belichick and New England is a major storyline. By all accounts, the change is going well.
According to NESN, Newton went 20-of-27 in 11-on-11 drills on August 23. He is reportedly taking most of the starting reps after Stidham’s injury.
In a recent appearance on WEEI in Boston, Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch described Newton as “real” and “genuine.”
According to ESPN, Fisch also publicly praised Newton’s work ethic.
“The best reflection of his work ethic — we’re not even at four weeks yet where he’s come into the building — is that he’s able to function and run the offense. That’s reflective of how hard he’s worked to get there.”
New England opens its season against rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (or Ryan Fitzpatrick) and the Miami Dolphins on September 13. If Newton showcases that work ethic against the Dolphins, New England can begin the post-Tom Brady era off in the right way.