By Joe Pantorno
The quarterbacking conversation in the AFC East just got a lot more interesting.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots are signing former MVP and Carolina Panthers star quarterback, Cam Newton, to a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
The 31-year-old will have the difficult job in trying to replace Tom Brady, who departed the Patriots organization after 20 seasons, six Super Bowl titles, and a reign of terror over the New York Jets and the rest of the AFC East.
Preparing for the 2020 season, the Patriots were poised to have a QB competition between Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer — the former being an unproven youngster and the latter a veteran with limited success in the NFL.
Considering the Patriots’ track record of success under head coach Bill Belichick, Newton has an opportunity to re-spark a career that recently fell off the rails due to injuries and a falling out of favor with the Panthers organization, which opted to make Teddy Bridgewater the passer of their future.
Over his first eight pro seasons from 2011-2018, he averaged 3,558 passing yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions per season, which included a 2015 MVP campaign that saw him 3,827 yards, 35 touchdowns, and just 10 picks.
Newton’s addition to the division adds to an already-intriguing list of passers within its ranks.
Jets quarterback Sam Darnold is entering Year 3 of a promising career that continues trending upward while Buffalo Bills signal-caller Josh Allen showed flashes of being the franchise man the organization expected when taking him out of Wyoming in 2018.
Over in Miami, the impending arrival of Dolphins rookie and former Alabama star, Tua Tagovailoa has forecasted promise of the franchise finally turning things around.