Following a disappointing 2020 season, the New England Patriots elected to take another shot with Cam Newton. It’s a part of New England’s busy first few weeks of the offseason that saw them add several notable players to the roster. With Newton in the fold, team owner Robert Kraft recently made some telling comments concerning the three-time Pro Bowler.
Patriots bring back Cam Newton after rough first season
Following a disappointing end to Cam Newton‘s tenure with the Carolina Panthers, he received a chance to reignite his career with the Patriots.
However, his first campaign with New England didn’t exactly pan out in a promising fashion as he struggled to find consistency. Newton had difficulties passing the ball, finishing 24th with 2,657 passing yards and 33rd with eight passing touchdowns.
The three-time Pro Bowler did prove to be a strong factor with his legs, posting 592 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, the highest total since his rookie year. His often lackluster play contributed to the Patriots failing to reach the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
Despite those shortcomings on the field, the Patriots elected to bring back Newton on a one-year deal worth up to $14 million if he reaches his incentives. The contract holds a $5 million base value with a $2 million signing bonus, $1.5 million base salary, and $1.5 million in per-game roster bonuses.
Meanwhile, there is also $9 million tied to incentives for the playoffs, Pro Bowl, All-Pro, MVP, and Super Bowl MVP. With the 32-year-old back in the fold, team owner Robert Kraft has made some telling comments about the former league MVP.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft drops revealing comments about Cam Newton
Cam Newton’s return to the Patriots provides him another chance to prove he can still be a viable starting quarterback.
The strong belief in Newton comes from much more than the Patriots coaching staff, as owner Robert Kraft voiced on Wednesday that he didn’t think the 32-year-old had legitimate offensive weapons around him to succeed.
“I think in fairness to Cam [Newton], I am not sure he had the proper weapons around him last year, and then he got COVID, and there were a lot of things that happened,” Kraft said, via Ryan Hannable of NESN.
Although Kraft also noted that he didn’t believe that Jarret Stidham received a fair shot to compete for the starting job, it’s quite clear there is an understanding that Newton did have much to play with last season. Many of the players around him were unproven talent that struggled to make any significant impact.
That said, Newton’s performance also played a considerable part in those issues that plagued the Patriots last season. With a clean slate ahead for the 2021 campaign, it may be his final opportunity to prove he can still lead a team to success.
Busy offseason brings much-needed help aboard
Beyond the decision to re-sign Cam Newton, the Patriots had an extremely active first couple of weeks this offseason.
In uncharacteristic fashion, the Patriots were big spenders in free agency, adding pieces to the puzzle on both sides of the ball. New England brought on board two highly skilled tight ends in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.
The Patriots also re-signed running back James White while adding a pair of wide receivers in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. New England did take the hit along the offensive line losing guard Joe Thuney but retain center David Andrews. The Patriots also reacquired guard Trent Brown from the Las Vegas Raiders.
The front office worked efficiently to improve the roster around Newton to give him a better shot at success in 2021. It’s now on his shoulders to make the best of the situation ahead.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.