The New England Patriots added to their quarterback depth on Sunday evening, signing free agent Cam Newton.
ESPN NFL insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen first reported the news. Newton is reportedly signing a one-year deal.
Newton, 31, was released by the Carolina Panthers in March. The former NFL MVP quarterback had struggled with injuries in recent seasons and Carolina opted to sign Teddy Bridgewater in free agency.
Now, Newton will head to New England, where he’s expected to compete for the starting job. The Patriots are reportedly high on Jarrett Stidham, but the second-year quarterback is obviously unproven. Bill Belichick’s team also has veteran backup Brian Hoyer on the roster.
So, the Patriots are expected to carry three quarterbacks into training camp next month:
- 31-year-old Cam Newton
- 23-year-old Jarrett Stidham
- 34-year-old Brian Hoyer
Who will emerge as the replacement for Tom Brady?
QBs the Patriots now are expected to have reporting to training camp: Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 28, 2020
The Patriots’ eventual starting quarterback decision might depend on Newton’s health, but the team is believed to be high on Stidham.
“The fact that Tom won’t be there. It will be a different offense. It will be a different atmosphere. It will be a completely different feeling with one guy who has been so important to that franchise for 20 years. It is a whole new chapter. I think that they love this. I think there’s part of them that looks forward to this. Yeah, they are not tanking, and yeah, I think they have big expectations for Jarrett Stidham and we will see whether or not they are valid, right? At a time where again, I keep coming back to the economics of the business of sport, where after this year the cap may be flat or potentially go down due to the pandemic,” Schefter said on Get Up! this week.
“Look at the Patriots, sitting there paying a [second-year] quarterback in Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer on a veteran minimum type of contract. They have no money invested basically in the quarterback position and they will have flexibility if it doesn’t go well to do what they want to do at that point in time. But for now, they get to ride with Stidham, who I think they believe in.”
Of course, the dynamic has since changed with the signing of Newton. It will be interesting to see how the QB battle unfolds in training camp.