Small financial investment doesn’t mean Cam Newton addition isn’t a gamble

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Last night, we explained that the signing of quarterback Cam Newton could end up being the best of Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s many gambles. Some argue that it’s not a gamble at all, because Newton enters with a veteran minimum contract, allowing him to be released with minimal financial consequences.

While that’s correct, as it relates to the money that would be lost if Newton isn’t healthy or otherwise doesn’t fit, it’s still a gamble. Belichick is introducing one of the largest personalities in sports into the locker room, shaking the faith of Jarrett Stidham and turning the entire roster’s settled expectations for 2020 training camp onto their head. Although the pandemic necessarily unsettles anyone’s and everyone’s expectations for 2020 training camp and beyond, there’s only so much turbulence any team can take. Brady left and the offseason program unfolded with players vouching for Stidham and then, exactly one month before training camp opens, Cam Newton is on the team.

While that may energize plenty of players, the energy won’t be justified until it’s clear that Cam can be the Cam that Cam was before a shoulder injury derailed his 2018 season and a foot injury derailed his 2019 season. And while Belichick and staff have done a great job of baking the “do your job” mantra into the minds of everyone in the organization, it will be hard for them to not wonder about how Newton will do his job as the team processes the ultimate “distraction” to the task at hand.

But, remember, the “distraction” dynamic applies only to players who aren’t good enough to justify welcoming the risk that the rest of the team will lose focus. Newton is worth it, if he’s healthy and still something close to the guy who won the league MVP award five years ago.

The gamble comes from the possibility that Newton isn’t that guy anymore, that Belichick will have to eventually give the job back to Stidham, and that the team will have spent time thinking about and talking about a man who ultimately won’t become the successor to Tom Brady when everyone could have been focusing on the fact (as they’ve been for nearly four months) that Stidham will be the guy to replace Brady at the most important position on the field. If it doesn’t work, the disruption to the Patriot Way will make it harder for the team to be what it would have been if Newton hadn’t been signed.

30 responses to “Small financial investment doesn’t mean Cam Newton addition isn’t a gamble

  1. I heard an interview with Aqib Talib a couple of months ago where he said that when the Broncos played the Panthers in SB 50, the Panthers only had 17 plays and that they were easy to prepare for. Cam will have to broaden that A LOT for the NE offense that changes every week.

  2. Imo the largest gamvles to this weren’t fully mentioned in the article.
    1) what if Cam acts like Cam and is a disgruntled whiney so-and-so causing locker room discord
    2) what if he doesn’t, and Stidham only plays mediocre ball and the fans and worse yet, the locker room are riotous demanding Cam gets a shot? That could set back Stidham significantly. What if Cam is then only slightly better? Can BB handle that type of QB controversies?

  3. People are overthinking this. Belichick was always going to upgrade at that position, and he knew he could because there were like 5000 QBs available this off-season. Furthermore, he could win with Edelman at QB if he had to. One day people will learn. He sees football in 3-D. It’s going to be funny watching the diehard Pat fans flip though and praise Cam Newton after ripping him for years.

  4. It’s no gamble, Cam signed for the minimum betting on himself. I think every player in the NFL realizes that it is a business. Do you want to grow your brand…TB12? Take control of your future.

  5. Newton still has to win the job. Until that happens, it is only a $1 million gamble; not even peanuts in NFL terms. If Stidham melts from competition, he would not be worthy of the job anyways. I think Stidham is worthy, and there will be good competition if Newton is really healthy.

  6. A gamble is when you have something to lose the Pat’s got him for pennies they have nothing too lose .

  7. But Stidham will be the guy to replace Brady. At best Newton wins the job and then gets a huge payday next year…..from someone else. And the Pats are right back to Stidham….whom they have expressed confidence in but rumors have been circulating locally that he would benefit from one more year before he takes the job.

  8. “The gamble comes from the possibility that Newton isn’t that guy anymore, that Belichick will have to eventually give the job back to Stidham….”

    Belichick hasn’t given to the job to Stidham, nor anyone…

  9. Its always a competition in NE. Every player knows and understands that. That’s how players like JC Jackson, Jonathon Jones, Adam Butler, Jakobi Meyers and David Andrews made the roster. They were all undrafted free agents. Every year at least one undrafted player makes the roster.

  10. The HAWT TAYKS on this have been wild, lol. Like, if Newton is the starter, they are Super Bowl contenders, but if Stidham beats out Newton, they are not. LMFAO. Or that this means the Patriots dont have a plan. Or that it means Stidham isnt the guy.

    Objectively, it sounds like the Pats have been talking to Newton for a while, and Newton finally reached the point in time that he needed to sign with someone, and that someone was the Pats (since no one else made any offer). So it tells me that the plan was likely Stidham needed another year to be ready, and Hoyer was gonna get the job. So Bill is thinking, who do I want to ride with, Hoyer or Newton? Of course you go with Newton. Sounds like the Pats have been on that train for a while, and Newton was holding out for a more lucrative offer, it didnt happen, and here he is. This says nothing to me about Stidham. Stidham might never be the guy, but he might still be the guy. Signing Newton doesnt confirm either of those positions. It more so confirms they want to give him another year to learn.

  11. Yeah, I’m not going to worry about disruption in the Patriots’ locker room. Every player on the team knows that each man has to earn his job every day and that he can only control what’s his responsibility. I doubt Cam will try to cause drama and disruption, but if he does it won’t work in that locker room.

  12. Two attributes that were paramount in making made Brady a great QB are his ability to read a defense and his mental toughness. I’m not sure in Newton has the ability to read a defense well enough and his whiny behavior leads me to believe he may not be tough enough to thrive or even survive wiht the Pats offense. If he has those qualities, the results may be spectacular but I have my doubts.

  13. So here you are criticizing after you inexplicably said bb escapes all criticism. I’d say you covered all your bases to claim foresight in hind sight. The Boston globe awaits.

  14. Tulsa Bronco says:
    June 30, 2020 at 7:59 am
    I heard an interview with Aqib Talib a couple of months ago where he said that when the Broncos played the Panthers in SB 50, the Panthers only had 17 plays and that they were easy to prepare for. Cam will have to broaden that A LOT for the NE offense that changes every week.
    ———————-

    Why don’t you just say you’re trying to call hims stupid. I think a former MVP has the ability to absorb a playbook regardless of the size. Maybe (if you believe Talib) the 17 plays consisted of the game plan for that day.

  15. Pats fans had “Stid the Kid” as their Young to SF’s Montana. Now, it’s like “Stidham who?”

    This is the most un-BB move ever. Cam is not his kind of player – it’s like choosing Bledsoe over Brady way back when.

    Should be interesting. Obviously, it puts the Pats back in the mix for the division title, but in a division that’s miles better top to bottom, it’s anyone’s guess who ends up on top.
    You just don’t lose a GOAT QB and hope to not miss a beat or 2.

  16. ee00ee says:
    June 30, 2020 at 7:59 am
    Imo the largest gamvles to this weren’t fully mentioned in the article.
    1) what if Cam acts like Cam and is a disgruntled whiney so-and-so causing locker room discord

    I have serious doubts Cam will be disgruntled and whiney, mainly because he has something to prove to all the doubters. He’s on a one year prove-it-to-me deal. Why would be be a troublemaker?

    2) what if he doesn’t, and Stidham only plays mediocre ball and the fans and worse yet, the locker room are riotous demanding Cam gets a shot? That could set back Stidham significantly. What if Cam is then only slightly better? Can BB handle that type of QB controversies?

    When was the last time you saw a BB run team “riotous”? BB is the king of handling QB controversies or any controversies for that matter.

  17. The best thing that could happen to Cam would be for him to lead the Patriots to the SB and recover his own fumble in that game.

  18. It’s almost as if you haven’t watched how this team operates for oh, I don’t know….the last 20 years? Trust the process…

  19. BB could be thinking Cam might push Stidham, but I think it’s a simple case of getting a better player. A healthy Cam puts a lot of pressure on an opposing defense.

    As a Panther fan, I’ll be surprised if Cam doesn’t win the job. I think the diva rep is oversold. Cam is a fierce competitor – his emotions do show but much of the time it is his joy that lifts teammates.

  20. Right now Cam has a serious chip on his shoulder and would expect him to come out balling hard for the Patriots to be honest. He HAS too, if not his career is all but over!!!

  21. Would be fascinatingtto see if at the end of training camp J’mar Smith beats out either Hoyer or Stidham. (assuming there’s a training camp without disruptions and Cam is healthy)!

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