Pats Re-sign Cam Newton to a 1-Year Deal

Jed Zeppelin

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COVID surely screwed the team up in general but Cam had two shoulder surgeries in three years. Most likely scenario is he just can’t throw the ball consistently anymore.

On the bright side he is still a good runner and they figure to have a strong OL, so I expect the Cam/Harris/Sony trifecta to put up numbers.

They also had an epically bad receiving group so who knows.
 

Nator

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OK. Not ideal. But with the full training camp, opt-outs returning to hopefully strengthen the defense, and still plenty of cap space for some more weapons on offense, this could be OK.

The things that bother me are the unforced inaccuracy, which maybe can be improved upon, and his utter lack of pocket awareness which can't be. I am not sure how you teach a 31 year old QB to get better at pocket presence. You either have it, or you don't.

But I really want this to work. It seems like his genuine enthusiasm for being on the Patriots.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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IF they can sign a guy like Samuel, and add additional pieces, and IF their Covid defensive holdouts return and are good after taking a year off I really think Cam is fine, especially if the 14M is heavily based on incentives. Watson was the pipe dream, but other than that who else is out there better than Cam that is really worth trading something for?
 

Steve Dillard

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They must really like what they see in practice from Stidham, and just want a reliable backup. [/2020]

They must really think they'll get a QB in the draft, and just want a reliable backup. [/2021]

It did work out well, in a way. We got the #1 draft pick, which became a very good QB. (Unfortunately, Jim Plunkett's best years were with Oakland, but that's a different story.)
That's the strategy. Build the D this year, while making sure you get a top pick next year for the QB of the future.
 

DJnVa

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But issues related to accuracy are worrisome and I don’t think are as tied to those issues as others
Do you think it's weird that he completed a higher percentage of passes than Big Ben? Or Burrow? Or Ryan?
 

DonBuddinE6

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I haven't been this excited since the Patriots signed Joe Kapp. That turned out well.
It did work out well, in a way. We got the #1 draft pick, which became a very good QB. (Unfortunately, Jim Plunkett's best years were with Oakland, but that's a different story.)
 

DJnVa

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At the end of the day, all this *really* means is that JG or Mariotta aren't coming here. And neither of them was the solution either.
 

moondog80

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How do incentives work with the cap? Do they have to keep the space in reserve in case he meets 100% of them?
 

Shelterdog

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Do you think it's weird that he completed a higher percentage of passes than Big Ben? Or Burrow? Or Ryan?
What Cam seems to do worse than those guys -- and what he does a lot worse than Brady who is like the best in NFL history at this -- is every now and then he absolutely misses incredibly easy throws, and by like a mile. It's the "he can't make a throw a guy from Foxborough high can" and it drives fans bananas. But if you watch QBs other than Brady and Manning you'll realize that it's not that uncommon for people to just blow easy throws like that (even if Cam is particularly bad at it). the "he's the worst in NFL history/worse in the league/historically bad" crew just doesnt know what they're talking about.

He's also not good. But could he be good enough for a big nasty physical team with a couple of 350 pound offensive lineman that's going to runs it 40 times a game, has an ok defense that's adding chung and hightower and, I'll bet, is about to sign a whole bunch of tough and once again physical defensive players? That's starting to be an interesting team in an era of teams that are small and quick on defense and play wide open football on offense.
 

tmracht

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Have to imagine as well that a lot of the incentive will be NLTBE so it won't just take 14 million out of the cap right away as well. For someone that many on the roster really seem to like (see: Damien Harris reaction). And not many game changing options available, get the veteran presence and groom a new young QB. I don't love the move, but it seems pretty vanilla to me.
 

BigSoxFan

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How do incentives work with the cap? Do they have to keep the space in reserve in case he meets 100% of them?
They're broken into 2 categories:

Likely to be Earned (LTBE)
Not Likely to be Earned (NLTBE)

The LTBE count against the current year's cap. The NLTBE do not. An example of this would be a bonus for making the Pro Bowl. For Cam, that would obviously be NLTBE and wouldn't count against the cap. My guess is a large chunk of this contract is NLTBE incentives, which makes it far more palatable but we'll have to see.
 

joe dokes

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Do you think it's weird that he completed a higher percentage of passes than Big Ben? Or Burrow? Or Ryan?
It's only my eyeballs talking here. On the one hand, given his relative completion %%, I think some of the accuracy criticisms are because some of his misses were just dumbfounding. But (again, eyeballs) a significant %% of his *completions* were inaccurate in the sense that they didn't give the receiver any chance at YAC. How that compared to other QB's, however, is beyond me. But week after week, we saw the other teams QB just drop passes into buckets all over the field. Newton had very very few of those.
All in all, this doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. That BB and his teammates all seem to love the guy has to count for something. I understand, however, that there are people here who know football better than both me and BB.
 

Average Game James

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They're broken into 2 categories:

Likely to be Earned (LTBE)
Not Likely to be Earned (NLTBE)

The LTBE count against the current year's cap. The NLTBE do not. An example of this would be a bonus for making the Pro Bowl. For Cam, that would obviously be NLTBE and wouldn't count against the cap. My guess is a large chunk of this contract is NLTBE incentives, which makes it far more palatable but we'll have to see.
And just to clarify - the LTBE/NLTBE designation is based entirely on what was achieved in the prior season. So, if Cam did it in 2020, it is LTBE. If Cam did not achieve the benchmark in 2020, it would be NLTBE (e.g. if there is an incentive tied to being active for 16 games, that would be NLTBE because Cam was only active for 15 games last season).
 

Captaincoop

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It's only my eyeballs talking here. On the one hand, given his relative completion %%, I think some of the accuracy criticisms are because some of his misses were just dumbfounding. But (again, eyeballs) a significant %% of his *completions* were inaccurate in the sense that they didn't give the receiver any chance at YAC. How that compared to other QB's, however, is beyond me. But week after week, we saw the other teams QB just drop passes into buckets all over the field. Newton had very very few of those.
All in all, this doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. That BB and his teammates all seem to love the guy has to count for something.
They also ran Fisher Price My First Passing Offense to try and stay competitive with a guy who can't process and can't throw. Completion percentage means next to nothing without context. We talked about it before, but in the last quarter century prior to last year, no starting quarterback in the NFL had thrown 10+ interceptions with 5 or fewer TDs in a season. Cam achieved that last year, in the middle of what is otherwise the biggest passing boom in football history.
 

BigSoxFan

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And just to clarify - the LTBE/NLTBE designation is based entirely on what was achieved in the prior season. So, if Cam did it in 2020, it is LTBE. If Cam did not achieve the benchmark in 2020, it would be NLTBE (e.g. if there is an incentive tied to being active for 16 games, that would be NLTBE because Cam was only active for 15 games last season).
Yup. So, basically everything in this contract is NLTBE...
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It's only my eyeballs talking here. On the one hand, given his relative completion %%, I think some of the accuracy criticisms are because some of his misses were just dumbfounding. But (again, eyeballs) a significant %% of his *completions* were inaccurate in the sense that they didn't give the receiver any chance at YAC. How that compared to other QB's, however, is beyond me. But week after week, we saw the other teams QB just drop passes into buckets all over the field. Newton had very very few of those.
All in all, this doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. That BB and his teammates all seem to love the guy has to count for something. I understand, however, that there are people here who know football better than both me and BB.
He ranked very low in air yards per attempt (and other air yards-related stats), generally 25th and below in these stats so it makes sense he would be able to maintain an average completion % even with some accuracy issues. Roughly middle of the pack in YAC average, but that's with a ton of passes at or near the line of scrimmage geared toward that.
 

Super Nomario

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What Cam seems to do worse than those guys -- and what he does a lot worse than Brady who is like the best in NFL history at this -- is every now and then he absolutely misses incredibly easy throws, and by like a mile. It's the "he can't make a throw a guy from Foxborough high can" and it drives fans bananas. But if you watch QBs other than Brady and Manning you'll realize that it's not that uncommon for people to just blow easy throws like that (even if Cam is particularly bad at it). the "he's the worst in NFL history/worse in the league/historically bad" crew just doesnt know what they're talking about.
I think this is right: other than TD / INT ratio, Cam's numbers were below-average but not terrible. A lot of the issue is aesthetic; when it was bad, it looked awful.

To be fair to the Cam haters: Cam's pass attempt numbers varied wildly week to week, and the games he was effective passing he threw more. The overall numbers are going to make him look better on a per-attempt basis because he threw (effectively) 44 times vs Seattle but only (ineffectively) 10 times vs Buffalo. His passing numbers were bad in 9/15 games, but the 6 good ones (Seattle, both Jets, Houston, Baltimore, first Miami game) make up about half his passing attempts for the season.

He's also not good. But could he be good enough for a big nasty physical team with a couple of 350 pound offensive lineman that's going to runs it 40 times a game, has an ok defense that's adding chung and hightower and, I'll bet, is about to sign a whole bunch of tough and once again physical defensive players? That's starting to be an interesting team in an era of teams that are small and quick on defense and play wide open football on offense.
They've been trying that for a couple years; I'm pretty skeptical it will work though. Running is just so much less efficient than passing, even for teams who are really good at it.

They also ran Fisher Price My First Passing Offense to try and stay competitive with a guy who can't process and can't throw. Completion percentage means next to nothing without context. We talked about it before, but in the last quarter century prior to last year, no starting quarterback in the NFL had thrown 10+ interceptions with 5 or fewer TDs in a season. Cam achieved that last year, in the middle of what is otherwise the biggest passing boom in football history.
That stat is not true (Alex Smith threw 1 TD / 11 INT as a rookie; Ryan Leaf had 2 TD / 15 INT; those are just off the top of my head) and Cam finished with 8 TD so it doesn't apply anyway.
 

Ale Xander

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I want to say I will not watch NFL this year, but I know I can't hold to that.

Oooof. Kick in the nads.

Maybe he'll get better throwing or they just run him every down and get a capable backup for when he gets hurt. Starting to doubt if BB still has it as talent evaluator.

Wait what, 14mil? WTF. Last year was what 1 mil?
 

Captaincoop

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I think this is right: other than TD / INT ratio, Cam's numbers were below-average but not terrible. A lot of the issue is aesthetic; when it was bad, it looked awful.

To be fair to the Cam haters: Cam's pass attempt numbers varied wildly week to week, and the games he was effective passing he threw more. The overall numbers are going to make him look better on a per-attempt basis because he threw (effectively) 44 times vs Seattle but only (ineffectively) 10 times vs Buffalo. His passing numbers were bad in 9/15 games, but the 6 good ones (Seattle, both Jets, Houston, Baltimore, first Miami game) make up about half his passing attempts for the season.


They've been trying that for a couple years; I'm pretty skeptical it will work though. Running is just so much less efficient than passing, even for teams who are really good at it.


That stat is not true (Alex Smith threw 1 TD / 11 INT as a rookie; Ryan Leaf had 2 TD / 15 INT; those are just off the top of my head) and Cam finished with 8 TD so it doesn't apply anyway.
Those guys weren't full-season starters - Smith started 7 games that year, for example.

I guess we looked at that stat prior to Cam's meaningless 3 TD performance against the league's worst team in week 16. But regardless, he was absolutely fucking horrible last year.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Those guys weren't full-season starters - Smith started 7 games that year, for example.

I guess we looked at that stat prior to Cam's meaningless 3 TD performance against the league's worst team in week 16. But regardless, he was absolutely fucking horrible last year.
Would you be okay with this if it turns out that they draft a QB in the first round, cut Stidham, and let the draftee sit a year behind Newton to develop?
 

Captaincoop

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Would you be okay with this if it turns out that they draft a QB in the first round, cut Stidham, and let the draftee sit a year behind Newton to develop?
I'm okay with the signing, because I don't think it really impacts their flexibility much at all. But if this actually turns out to be their plan for the QB position in 2021, I'm super disappointed.

That being said, if they draft a QB, and the only other QB on the roster is Cam Newton, that draftee is going to end up starting at some point whether that's the plan or not.
 

Shelterdog

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They've been trying that for a couple years; I'm pretty skeptical it will work though. Running is just so much less efficient than passing, even for teams who are really good at it.
You're not going 14-2 run and defense heavy unless you have incredible player acquisition but if you don't have a top fifteen quarterback is there a better option?
 

joe dokes

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They also ran Fisher Price My First Passing Offense to try and stay competitive with a guy who can't process and can't throw. Completion percentage means next to nothing without context.
That's fair. But then we also get into some chicken and egg stuff, as more than zero of the reason they ran that offense has to be attributed to the lack of quality receiver depth at both WR and TE.
Ultimately, I think a training camp and not having COVID will likely make him better. I dont see how that can make him worse.
 

Sille Skrub

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Six Super Bowl wins just aren't worth what they used to be.
The current Lombardi depreciation ratio is a bitch.

Thinking out loud here (and maybe because I keep reading about his pro day today), I wonder if this means Trey Lance is the draft target. Looking at Lance on film, he looks like a young... Cam Newton with a much better arm. He's very raw, but maybe their thinking is to groom Lance behind Cam. You don't have to install two different offenses for a traditional pocket passer like Jimmy G.

I wouldn't hate it. Still so many different options in play...
 

RG33

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This thread is pretty amazing.

BB telegraphed how much he loved Cam’s work ethic and leadership last year — this was always happening. As frustrated as I was watching him at times last year, it was almost always from the contextual lens of having had TB12 for 20 years always make the right decision, always get rid of the ball in time, and always make accurate throws. I agree with some others that the rage feels more due to aesthetics than anything.

This team won 7 games with him with no training camp in a new and complex offense, after having Covid, with minimal offensive weapons — and could/should have won 10 games and battled for a playoff spot.

Let’s see what the contract actually is and what the QB situation looks like in June. I have said all along bringing Cam back and at the very least using him a la Taysom Hill seemed like a no-brainer. If BB just gave him $5-7m in real money on this contract, his elite skills as a runner/playmaker are worth it alone.

Now let’s go get Golladay and Jonnu, re-sign Byrd, find a couple of DL and a scrap-heap CB and LFG!!
 

Super Nomario

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You're not going 14-2 run and defense heavy unless you have incredible player acquisition but if you don't have a top fifteen quarterback is there a better option?
I think this is probably right. And it's why I don't expect a big splash signing at WR either. I expect they will try to get better at WR / TE, certainly. But they're just going not going to be able to assemble a passing game that can compete with KC or even with, say, Buffalo, so why try to play that game? They need to win a different way.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Belichick is all about risk management. He wants the FLOOR of QB play to be a Cam Newton fully up to speed on the offense with a full offseason to prepare. By all appearances, based on the asking price of QBs to be potentially traded i.e. Watson, along with the contract demands of mediocre FA QBs clashing with the stagnant salary cap, he probably thinks the QB market is going to develop very late this spring/summer. Then if you strike out on all of those you are deciding to go with an untested Stidham and a Hoyer level-or-worse backup as a parachute sometime in August. Not what they are looking for.
 

bunchabums

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You're not going 14-2 run and defense heavy unless you have incredible player acquisition but if you don't have a top fifteen quarterback is there a better option?
This feels right to me. Your odds of a deep postseason are highest with a top quarterback. But this doesn't mean you can't go deep without one.

Without a top QB option -- none out there, Watson too expensive, odds of a rookie coming in and dominating being slim -- this seems like a very reasonable and actually smart move. They will have a competitive team that plays to its strengths (good defense and running game) and hopefully the cards fall their way.

And this says nothing of Cam potentially improving after another year in the system, actual training camp, not getting Covid, etc.
 

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BB may also be thinking that by signaling that he is signing Cam to be his 2021 starter, it gives him leverage with any other QB’s he might like -- either via trade or free agency.
Cam’s contract will be heavily-incentivized so if they find something better, it will not be painful to say “bye-bye, Cam.” And finding something better could be a vet or a rookie.
 

Cellar-Door

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Nope, it's allegedly structured like last year, so 8M is the max if the Patriots don't make the playoffs and Cam doesn't win any honors. That assumes he plays all 16 and makes all the other performance incentives....... that's a really good deal. Top backups can make more than that guaranteed.

So from the sound of it, Cam gets $14M if the Patriots win the SB and he gets All-NFL or MVP or something.

Sounds like it;s:
Small guarantee- $?
Weekly roster bonuses-$?
Performance Bonuses- $?
Playoff progress and Personal Honors Bonuses- $6M

Total possible value- $14M
 

Jimbodandy

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The current Lombardi depreciation ratio is a bitch.

Thinking out loud here (and maybe because I keep reading about his pro day today), I wonder if this means Trey Lance is the draft target. Looking at Lance on film, he looks like a young... Cam Newton with a much better arm. He's very raw, but maybe their thinking is to groom Lance behind Cam. You don't have to install two different offenses for a traditional pocket passer like Jimmy G.

I wouldn't hate it. Still so many different options in play...
Seems very possible.

Let's assume that the long range plan is to draft/develop a quarterback. Let's also assume that guy is in this draft (Lance?).

If Belichick doesn't want to have his future QB getting face eaten off by edge rushers as a rookie, why wouldn't he bring back the one available guy who knows the system, doesn't cost a lot, and is LOVED by teammates and respected by players around the league.

I get the people don't like that the team was ass last year, but on what planet do we think that any of us cares more or is smarter than Belichick?