Superman is back, but this time he is sporting different colors.
Cam Newton’s first official photo in his Patriots jersey. pic.twitter.com/tn5SVJIl1M
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 4, 2020
The New England Patriots posted the first official photo of Cam Newton rocking his new jersey this past Monday.
Though a number is not visible in the photo, the team’s official website has him retaining the No. 1 uniform that he wore with the Carolina Panthers.
Seeing Newton in a Patriots’ uniform is a scary sight to behold, but a healthy Newton on Sundays might be even more frightening.
The Comeback Trail
It was just a few years ago when Newton was amongst the brightest stars in the league.
As the first overall pick for the Panthers back in 2011, Newton carried the burden of revitalizing a franchise mired in mediocrity.
Newton led his team to the playoffs on four occasions, the same number of appearances Carolina had in their previous 16 years of existence.
The Panthers never surrounded him with enough talent or protection, though, and his body broke down as a result.
In 2018, Carolina shut down Newton with two games left to get surgery on his throwing shoulder.
In 2019, a Linsfanc fracture in his left foot ended his season after playing just two games.
With a questionable bill of health and zero interest on the trade market, the team Newton called home for nine years unceremoniously released their former franchise cornerstone.
Now, the 31-year-old finds himself needing his own path to redemption.
The Patriots took advantage of the opportunity to sign the dual-threat quarterback to a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
Newton will make the veteran’s minimum of $1.05 million, but can make up to $7.5 million should he hit certain benchmarks.
A full breakdown of Cam Newton’s contract with the Patriots, which includes $3.75M in playing-time incentives and a maximum value of $7.5M if the team wins the Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/TGSVEJ3P0Z
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 9, 2020
Spurned by the league, Newton expressed confidence in his ability to set the league ablaze with his new team.
“Coach McDaniels, you’re able to call some stuff that you ain’t ever been able to call now. You’re getting a dog,” he said at a discussion hosted by Odell Beckham Jr.
Newton now has the chance to re-establish his dominance while continuing the historic legacy Tom Brady left behind in New England.
Unchartered Territory for New England
The Patriots find themselves in an unfamiliar position heading into the new season.
Several key members have either departed in free agency or opted out to protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, with Brady now suiting up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England has a vacant QB1 position for the first time since 2001.
In typical Bill Belichick fashion, the Patriots’ head coach has not given any indication on who might start.
While Newton is heavily favored to takeover, sophomore QB Jared Stidham does have a legitimate claim as well.
However, Stidham’s knowledge of the playbook may not be enough to hand him the keys to the offense.
In an interview with SXM Mad Dog Sports Radio, former Patriots’ offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia thought Newton held a clear advantage in the QB battle.
“I think he has a huge edge, because of what he’s done in the league. The guy was an MVP,” he said.
Regardless of who Belichick eventually chooses, it will still be strange to see someone other than No. 12 take snaps under center.