Quarterback Cam Newton, the NFL’s most valuable player in 2015 who has been haunted by injuries in recent years, has signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports.
On Sunday, the NFL fined the Patriots $ 1.1 million and would take their third-round draft pick in 2021 as a penalty for the team that videotaped the Cincinnati Bengals sideline during their game against the Cleveland Browns this season. Last, according to league spokesman Michael Signora The incident raised new suspicions from the team, which has been the subject of more serious rule scandals, such as the so-called Spygate and Deflategate incidents, during the tenure of coach Bill Belichick.
However, the news of Newton’s arrival will have Patriots fans looking forward, not back. Newton, who was first drafted in 2011 by the Carolina Panthers and had played his entire career at Carolina, became a free agent this offseason. After missing just six games in his first eight seasons, he played in just two games last year. Newton injured his knee, shoulder, and Lisfranc ligament in his left foot, requiring surgery, a few months before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the movement of NFL players during the off-season.
Newton was released by the Panthers in March amid an organizational shakeup that saw the departure of coach Ron Rivera and staunch linebacker Luke Kuechly.
Before injuries slowed him down, Newton, 31, was one of the league’s most dominant quarterbacks and the best offensive player in Panthers history. He has thrown more than 29,000 yards and 182 touchdowns in his career. He has run for over 4,800 yards and 58 touchdowns as well.
His best season came in 2015, when the Panthers were 15-1 in the regular season and made it to the Super Bowl. Newton was chosen winner of the Most Valuable Player Award that year. Newton led the Panthers to four postseason appearances.
The deal was first reported by ESPN and confirmed by the NFL Network. The Patriots declined to comment on Newton’s signature report. Newton’s agent Bus Cook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Newton has yet to pass a physical exam, which all players have struggled to complete due to travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. But assuming he passes the test, Newton will have a one-year contract to prove he’s still a great quarterback, and the Patriots will take little risk to win an experienced and athletic leader. The team’s quarterback, Tom Brady, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March.
The Patriots’ list of quarterbacks also includes Jarrett Stidham, whom the Patriots selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft and who appeared in just three games in the regular season as backup last season. The Patriots will also have Brian Hoyer, who is in his second stint with the team, J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke entering training camp.
Newton’s signing may take away some of the Patriots ‘penalties, which stem from an instance in December when a team cameraman recorded the Bengals’ field and sideline while attending the Bengals-Browns game in Cleveland, apparently to film a Patriots explorer in action for a feature on the team’s website.
In a statement issued at the time of the incident, the Patriots acknowledged that the video team “unknowingly violated” league policy and emphasized that team staff had “no involvement in the planning, filming, or creative decisions made during producing these characteristics. “
The league determined that filming constituted an attempt to spy on an opponent. In addition to the fine and loss of a draft pick, the team’s video teams will also not be allowed to film any games this season, and the producer responsible for filming will be banned from the NFL facility.
Newton’s signature and news of the league’s penalty come after a relatively quiet period since Brady’s departure. That silence has dramatically ended. On Tuesday, a panel of three judges in Florida will hear an appeal of the case against Patriots owner Robert K. Kraft when considering a trial court decision to throw video evidence that is central to the two charges of misdemeanor against him for prostitution application.