Take A Look At Cam Newton’s First Photo In A Patriots Uniform
The New England Patriots’ 2020 player headshots hit the Internet on Monday, giving fans their first look at Cam Newton… Read More »Check it out, courtesy of Patriots.
Bill Belichick got his first real up-close look at Cam Newton this week, and it seems like the New England Patriots head coach has been impressed with what little he has seen. © Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports Cam Newton is finally working with the Patriots.
Belichick, who is typically hesitant to praise players early in the year, shared some of his thoughts on Newton with reporters on Friday. While he didn’t go into specifics, Belichick said Newton is a “hard-working kid” who has absorbed a lot of information already.
2020 vision: 20 players to watch in the NFC West
2020 vision: 20 players to watch in the NFC West
“A lot of information has been transferred to all the players, and he’s worked very hard, I’d say as all of our players have,” Belichick said, via Ryan Hannable of WEEI.com. “We have a hard-working group. Those guys are ready to go. We’ve put in some long days, and they’ve been very attentive throughout the process.”
Belichick praised all of the quarterbacks on the Patriots roster and said they have been “locked in” during an unusual offseason.
“When they all get in the huddle, everybody has a lot of confidence in what they’re able to do and the information they have to give to the team — play-calling, adjustments, audibles, protection adjustments, things like that. That’s all gone pretty well. But again, we haven’t played at anywhere near the speed that we’re going to be playing at, so we’ll see how it comes together at that point.
Cam Newton: Joining Patriots 'a breath of fresh air'
When the Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to replace Newton, the 31-year-old wasn't happy, and he even admitted that Carolina releasing him was motivating, more than anything. Cam Newton was asked whether the way things ended in Carolina is motivating him: "I wake up mad."Self-motivation has been a big theme for him in this call. pic.twitter.com/iq90EOrjDa— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 7, 2020 The former MVP was released by the Panthers in March, and now he's hungrier than ever. Newton mainly has posted his workouts on Instagram since signing with the Patriots, and each time his caption is something motivational.
“But Cam’s a hard-working kid. He really is.”
Newton is easily the favorite to win the starting job out of training camp, especially with all the promising reports we have heard about his health. The former NFL MVP is playing under an incentive-laden contract and extremely motivated to prove he can still be an elite starter. He’ll have to earn everything under Belichick, however, and one former Patriot questions if the two will be a good fit.
Assuming good health, Newton’s success in New England will come down to how firm of a grasp he can get on the offense in a challenging offseason. He seems to be doing all the right things thus far.
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Cam Newton Seems To Have Impressed Josh McDaniels As ‘Smart Football Player’
Cam Newton and Josh McDaniels enter the 2020 season in a somewhat similar position. McDaniels is working with what will… Read More »McDaniels is working with what will be a new starting quarterback for the first time during his two-phased tenure with the New England Patriots. Newton, similarly, is trying to learn a new offense for the first time since he was drafted first overall in 2011.
The best quarterback free agent signings in NFL history
This list only factors in passers' work after their respective free agency signings. Here are the best quarterback free agent additions in NFL history.
25. Michael Vick
The controversial quarterback's post-prison career did not register on the same level as his Falcons years, but Vick spent three-plus seasons as the Eagles starter and was 2010's NFC Pro Bowl first-stringer. Andy Reid signed Vick after his two-year prison term ended in 2009, and when the Eagles traded Donovan McNabb in 2010, Reid turned to Vick. The inaccurate passer delivered his best completion percentage (62.6 percent) and TD-INT ratio (21-6) under Reid and led the Eagles' 21-point comeback over the Giants en route to the NFC East title.
24. Jim Harbaugh
A four-year Bears starter who piloted two Chicago playoff offenses, Harbaugh signed with the Colts in 1994 but entered the next season as the backup to 1995 addition Craig Erickson. Harbaugh, however, regained the job from the ex-Miami Hurricane star during what became his best season. Harbaugh led the NFL in passer rating, made his only Pro Bowl, guided the Colts to two playoff upsets — the second over the top-seeded Chiefs — and had them within a nearly completed Hail Mary of Super Bowl XXX. He got the Colts back to playoffs a year later before being traded to the Ravens and Chargers.
23. Marc Bulger
The Rams' "Greatest Show on Turf" nucleus was not the same after Super Bowl XXXVI, but the crew enjoyed additional success thanks in part to an ex-Saints and Falcons castoff. The Rams added Bulger to their practice squad in 2000, and by 2003 injuries and ineffectiveness led to Kurt Warner's benching. Bulger replaced Warner in '03 and by season's end he was 18-4 in his first Rams starts. The new Rams QB find made two Pro Bowls and guided the Rams to 2003's No. 2 NFC seed. Bulger remained St. Louis' QB until 2009, but the late-aughts Rams' struggles cloud his career to some degree.
21. Trent Dilfer
While Dilfer made 37 starts after his one-season Ravens cameo, he's here almost entirely because of what he accomplished on a one-year, $1 million Baltimore contract in 2000. After his six-year Bucs tenure ended with rookie Shaun King taking his job, the former top-10 pick supplanted struggling Ravens starter Tony Banks a year later. Banks failed to produce a touchdown drive in his final four starter. With considerable help from the Ravens' historically great defense, Dilfer then went 11-1 as a starter. Following their Super Bowl XXXV rout, the Ravens replaced Dilfer with Elvis Grbac, who retired after the 2001 season.
20. Erik Kramer
A scab role during the 1987 strike landed Kramer a CFL gig, and he returned to the NFL via low-level free agency deal with the Lions in 1990. While the Lions invested a top-10 pick in Andre Ware and had veteran Rodney Peete, Kramer led the way the last two times the Lions won their division (in 1991 and '93). He took over for an injured Peete in 1991, and in Detroit's most recent playoff win, he threw for 341 yards and three TD passes in a 38-6 Round 2 conquest over Dallas. Kramer's off-and-on starter role convinced the Bears to sign him in 1994. He still holds Chicago's single-season TD pass record: 29 in 1995.
19. Doug Flutie
After nine seasons in Canada, the six-time CFL MVP and popular but ineffective 1980s NFL QB received a shot with the Bills in 1998. However, Buffalo soon traded the No. 9 overall pick for Jaguars backup Rob Johnson. In their three years together, Flutie (21-9 as a Bills starter) outplayed Johnson (9-17) at every turn, the 5-foot-9 icon sparking the '98 and '99 teams to playoff berths. Buffalo benched Flutie for Johnson before a 1999 wild-card game (the Music City Miracle), but he started 16 Chargers games in front of Drew Brees in 2001 and played until age 43, his final appearance featuring this rare NFL act.
18. Jake Plummer
Coming to Denver after six Arizona years, Plummer led the team to three straight playoff berths from 2003-05. Mike Shanahan replaced Brian Griese with Plummer, giving a player eager to leave a bad Cardinals team a seven-year, $40M deal. Shanahan deployed Plummer on countless bootlegs, and the Broncos went 39-15 in the mobile passer's starts. Plummer made the 2005 Pro Bowl and became the first quarterback to beat Tom Brady in the playoffs, helping the 13-3 Broncos to the '05 AFC title game. Shanahan demoted Plummer for Jay Cutler in 2006, but the former retired in '07 instead of accepting a trade to the Bucs.
17. Brad Johnson
The Buccaneers outbid the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens for Johnson's services in 2001. That signing probably altered the early-2000s NFL. The former Vikings and Redskins QB, who signed a five-year deal worth $28 million, helped the Bucs' dominant defense stampede to the Super Bowl XXXVII title. The 34-year-old passer made the 2002 Pro Bowl and threw five touchdown passes in the playoffs. Tampa Bay has not won a playoff game since. Johnson was a four-year Buc; the Ravens' defense had to settle for Elvis Grbac and then Kyle Boller.
15. Randall Cunningham
The longtime Eagle skipped the 1996 season, briefly retiring. Dennis Green lured him back to football in '97, despite merely a $425,000 salary (which was lower than the Saints' $700K offer). A prudent investment. After Cunningham replaced an injured Brad Johnson and led the '97 Vikings to a wild-card win in New York, he teamed with rookie Randy Moss to help the Vikings set the NFL scoring record in a 15-1 1998 season. The 35-year-old QB threw 34 TD passes in his lone All-Pro slate. Though the Vikes fell short of Super Bowl XXXIII and Cunningham was gone from Minnesota by 2000, he redefined his career in one season.
14. Kerry Collins
Substance-abuse issues led to the former top-five pick's Panthers downfall, but he soon stabilized a Giants team that had lacked a reliable passer since Phil Simms' retirement. The Giants gave Collins a four-year deal in 1999; he had them in Super Bowl XXXV a year later. His masterpiece came in a five-touchdown pass NFC championship game — a 41-0 romp over the Vikings. Collins, who also led the Giants to the 2002 playoffs, was Big Blue's starter until they acquired Eli Manning in 2004. Collins caught on with Tennessee in 2006 and resurfaced at 36 to usurp Vince Young and led the '08 Titans to the AFC's No. 1 seed.
13. Jake Delhomme
The Panthers initially acquired a seven-season starter on a two-year, $4 million pact in 2003. Delhomme delivered immediately, leading Carolina to its first Super Bowl that year. The Saints gave Delhomme scant work in four seasons, but Aaron Brooks' former backup guided the Panthers to three NFC South titles and two NFC championship games. Delhomme went punch for punch with Tom Brady in Super Bowl XXXVIII, helped Steve Smith begin his Hall of Fame case, made the 2005 Pro Bowl and earned two Carolina contract extensions. Despite a five-INT outing in the '08 playoffs, the former UDFA was a free agency success story.
12. Nick Foles
The Eagles' Foles reunion ended up being fairly important. After unmemorable stays in St. Louis and Kansas City, Foles was thrust into the role of quarterback for the NFC's No. 1 seed in 2017. Carson Wentz's December injury made the Eagles underdogs in both playoff home games; Foles surpassed all expectations. The sudden RPO warlord combined for 725 yards and six TD passes in wins over the Vikings and Patriots, securing Super Bowl MVP honors and a "Philly Special"-themed statue. Getting a lot done in 13 Eagles 2.0 starts, Foles also elevated a listless 2018 team to a final-eight appearance.
11. Jeff Garcia
The 49ers adding Garcia in 1999, after his five-year Calgary stay, proved critical. Aeneas Williams' vicious hit on Steve Young ended his career that September, and Garcia's heir-apparent run began early. From 2000-02, Young's elusive successor made the Pro Bowl. He led the 49ers to the playoffs during the '01 and '02 seasons. After separating from Terrell Owens, Garcia also quarterbacked postseason games with the Eagles and Bucs and wound up in the '07 Pro Bowl under Jon Gruden in Tampa. Garcia played for five teams but was never traded, ensuring a spot in free agency lore.
9. Jim Plunkett
The No. 1 overall pick in 1971, Plunkett soared into the bust realm after shaky stays in New England and San Francisco. But after spending two seasons as Ken Stabler's backup, Plunkett began a remarkable comeback tale. The Raiders traded Stabler for Dan Pastorini, but with the latter not panning out, that left Plunkett in command. Although never a Pro Bowler, Plunkett threw seven touchdown passes in the 1980 playoffs and was Super Bowl XV's MVP. Despite Al Davis repeatedly trying to make 1980 first-rounder Marc Wilson happen, Plunkett was at the controls for the L.A. Raiders' dominant Super Bowl XVIII victory.
8. Rich Gannon
Gannon could not replicate Plunkett's Super Bowl success, but he was a better quarterback. The Chiefs kept middling starter Elvis Grbac over Gannon, who played well when called upon during his four-year Kansas City stay, leading the latter to Oakland in 1999. The Raiders gave Gannon a four-year, $16 million deal; he gave the Raiders their best years since the early 1980s. Gannon made four Pro Bowls from 1999-02, was twice the All-Pro quarterback and won an MVP at age 37 while leading the veteran-fueled Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII. Gannon's work towers over every post-Plunkett Raider passer.
7. George Blanda
Blanda spent 10 years with the Bears but retired in 1959 after George Halas resorted to mostly using him mostly as a kicker. But once the AFL formed in 1960, Blanda signed up and made the Oilers the league's first glamour team. Blanda and wideouts Charley Hennigan and Bill Groman lit up scoreboards. Houston won the AFL's first two titles, coming within a double-OT loss from a league-opening three-peat. Blanda's 36 TD passes in 1961 remained an AFL-NFL record until Dan Marino's 1984 work. Blanda spent seven years as the Oilers' QB and played until age 48 as the Raiders' kicker.
6. Warren Moon
Denied an opportunity to be an NFL quarterback upon coming out of college in 1978, Moon became a five-time Grey Cup champion in Canada. That ignited a 1984 bidding war the Oilers won with a salary north of $1 million, which made Moon the NFL's highest-paid player. He quickly became one of the NFL's best passers, made five straight Pro Bowls in Houston and guided the run and shoot-based Oilers to seven consecutive playoff brackets. After a trade to the Vikings, Moon made the Pro Bowl at 41 upon signing with the Seahawks — the runners-up in 1984's Moon sweepstakes — and played until age 44.
5. Peyton Manning
Arguably the best to ever do it, Manning is No. 5 here because his Colts work is excluded. His post-free agency Denver tenure only lasted four seasons — and the final one-and-a-half years featured a decline likely accelerated by the neck injury that made him a free agent in the first place — but Manning's dominance with a fraction of his physical abilities will help his best-ever case over time. So will the Broncos' post-Manning swoon. Manning's five-year, $96M Broncos deal preceded his QB-record sixth and seventh All-Pro honors, 2013's stratospheric display at age 37 and two Super Bowl berths. A lot of commercials aired too.
4. Len Dawson
The Browns acquired Dawson via trade from the Steelers, but Paul Brown cut him after two seasons as a backup. In 1962, the Dallas Texans added the 27-year-old passer and saw him lead the team to an AFL championship that season. Dawson became the face of the relocating franchise soon after, making six more Pro Bowls as a Chief and leading Kansas City to two AFL crowns and Super Bowl IV. Dawson led the AFL in TD passes four times, returned from injury in 1969 to help give the AFL a 2-2 record in Super Bowls and Hank Stram mic'd-up immortality. The Hall of Famer quarterbacked the Chiefs for 14 years.
3. Kurt Warner
Warner probably had six quality seasons; those slates went so well he's a Hall of Famer. After his oft-mentioned stay in the Arena League and at Hy-Vee, Warner signed a Rams reserve/futures deal in 1997 and threw 11 passes in 1998. From 1999-2001: three Pro Bowls, two MVPs and a Super Bowl MVP. But Warner resurfacing after five years off the radar cemented this as an all-time career. Being cast as Matt Leinart's backup/tutor, Warner displaced the underwhelming first-rounder and in 2008 had a flawed '08 Cards team inches away from a Super Bowl title. He threw 16 TD passes in his first five Cardinal playoff games.
2. Drew Brees
Morphing from an inconsistent San Diegan into the game's all-time passing kingpin in New Orleans, Brees is one of the defining 21st-century NFLers. The Dolphins were iffy on Brees' shoulder during a high-stakes 2006 free agency battle with the Saints. His six-year, $60M deal — the first of many Brees-Saints accords — changed the fortunes of one of the NFL's worst franchises. Brees gave the Saints a Super Bowl championship, made 12 Pro Bowls in black and gold, broke both marquee career passing records on "Monday Night Football" and secured first-ballot Hall of Fame entry. Pretty good.
1. Johnny Unitas
The Steelers jettisoned Unitas a few years before they traded Dawson. This one stung worse, with Unitas still ranking high among the game's all-time greats. The Colts took a flier on the former ninth-round pick out in 1956, signing Unitas to a one-year, $7,000 contract (which was even less player-friendly than it sounds). Johnny U took the Baltimore reins full-time a year later, made the next 11 Pro Bowls and became his era's premier passer. Unitas led the Colts to back-to-back NFL titles — the first in "The Greatest Game Ever Played" — in 1958-59 and retired with 41 more TD passes (290) than the next-closest quarterback.
Stop Pretending Cam Newton Isn't the Patriots' Starting Quarterback .
Cam Newton is the Patriots starting quarterback. Stop pretending Brian Hoyer or Jarrett Stidham are serious candidates for Cam Newton's job. And if you won't, ask yourself why.