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Cam Newton signing with the Patriots makes a lot of sense

The Patriots offense is a good fit for Cam Newton’s talents despite the team having the least amount of salary cap space in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The New England Patriots signed Cam Newton to a one-year, incentive heavy deal.

It makes a lot of sense, the Patriots are a team in need of a starting quarterback, Cam Newton is a starting QB who needs a team. The Patriots are losing a 3rd round pick for taping the Bengals, so if Cam Newton shows he’s healthy and leaves the Patriots with a good contract for 2021, the Patriots could recoup a third-round compensatory draft pick. Bill Belichick and Cam Newton are both famous for their fashion choices.

But if you look beyond all of that, it makes even more sense. Over his career, Cam Newton’s best on-field connections have been with small but tough WR Steve Smith, TE Greg Olsen, and RB Christian McCaffrey. Cam Newton is also one of the least efficient deep ball quarterbacks in the NFL. From 2011 to 2018, Cam Newton averaged 10.7 yards per attempt on throws which traveled at least 15 yards downfield. Only Jay Cutler and Joe Flacco have at least 500 deep attempts and lower yards per attempt over that time frame.

New England’s offense features Julian Edelman, a tough, smaller wide receiver, a heavy focus on passes to running backs, and a history of using tight ends well. While the Patriots offense isn’t the greatest right now, the team is coming off one of the better defensive seasons in NFL history, and if either of the tight ends they drafted work out, the offense won’t be terrible.

It will be interesting to see what Bill Belichick can do with a much more mobile quarterback in his offense. With the contract they signed Newton to, the Patriots don’t have much incentive to protect Newton from taking hits, and Newton will be looking to put up numbers that will get him a big contract.

Since the Ravens and Patriots both won their divisions, the Steelers get a break from facing the Patriots this year. The Steelers and Patriots have faced off in each of the last 5 seasons, 8 of the last 10 years, and if you count playoffs, 14 times in the 16 seasons since the Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger.

It would be interesting if the Steelers met up with Cam Newton and the New England Patriots in the 2020 playoffs. Knowing the only way it would happen in 2020 would be in the postseason, it is a matchup worth hoping for.