Newton’s one-year deal will be a bargain if he returns to his best.
Cam Newton will get a chance to revive his career with the New England Patriots, who inked the 2015 MVP to a deal that will be a bargain if he succeeds in shaking off his injury issues and returning to peak form.
Newton will head to New England clearly behind Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the quarterback pecking order after a 2019 season in which he was restricted to just two games because of a Lisfranc injury. That followed a 2018 campaign that saw Newton battle a shoulder issue.
However, the reward greatly outweighs the risk for the Patriots, who will have one of the top quarterbacks in the league on their books if Newton gets back to his best and takes the starting job from Stidham, who is expected to assume the role vacated by Tom Brady this offseason.
Many fanbases will be questioning why their team did not make this move but it is Chicago Bears fans who are most likely to be scratching their heads in reaction to Newton’s signing.
Newton would have represented a substantial upgrade on Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears and, as his contract with the Patriots illustrates, would have come at a minimum price. The Bears went a different direction and parted with a fourth-round pick to land Nick Foles, an inferior quarterback who they are effectively tied to until at least 2022 because of the massive dead cap charges in his contract [h/t Spotrac].
Foles shone in 2013 and famously in two playoff campaigns for the Philadelphia Eagles but he has otherwise never performed at the level of Newton. Regular-season history suggests he is not likely to spark a turnaround for Chicago.
The Bears would have been much better off giving Newton a shot and resetting completely at the position in 2021 if he failed to deliver. Instead, it is the Patriots who will have the opportunity to revitalize his career. Should they achieve that aim, Bears fans will have every right to be furious with the hierarchy in Chicago.