Cam Newton to the Patriots impacts these four players tremendously.
The New England Patriots certainly bided their time, but they finally found an adequate replacement for the legendary Tom Brady in former league MVP Cam Newton.
Newton was a free agent after being cut by the Carolina Panthers earlier this offseason, and it’s a bit of a mystery as to what we can expect from him after he has been struggling with injuries the past couple of seasons, including missing all but two games in 2019.
Newton has a tremendous track record against the AFC East. As a matter of fact, he’s played better against the AFC East than any other division in football with a record of 7-1, 14 passing touchdowns, three rushing touchdowns, and just three interceptions.
Against the Patriots, Newton has played two career games but he’s played some of his best ball, winning both games and completing just under 72 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and just one interception.
Not many players have gotten the better of Bill Belichick like that, even in a small sample size.
Newton’s impact for the Patriots could be widespread
If Newton is healthy, this is a move that will raise all boats in New England, especially after Tom Brady took off for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and almost sank the ship entirely.
Here are the four players I think are most impacted by Newton’s arrival.
N’Keal Harry, WR
The Patriots’ 2019 first-round pick did not have the sort of instant impact everyone in New England had hoped.
He caught just 12 passes on 24 targets and only played in seven games due to injury. He will be expected to make a huge leap in year two and with Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer throwing passes, that seemed less likely.
With Cam Newton, that is now possible.
Devin Asiasi & Dalton Keene, TE
The Patriots used a pair of third-round 2020 NFL Draft selections on the tight end position. Specifically, they brought in Michigan-UCLA transfer Devin Asiasi and Virginia Tech’s Dalton Keene, two different styles of player who could be the top two tight ends in the lineup in 2020.
Newton has historically preferred throwing to the tight end position, evidenced by Greg Olsen’s team-leading 124 targets in Newton’s MVP 2015 season.
Jarrett Stidham, QB
Not everyone is going to be impacted in a positive way by this, right?
Although Stidham’s career is not over by any means, he was in really good shape to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback for the 2020 season.
I wasn’t sure if I really bought that, but the longer the offseason has dragged on, the more it really seemed the Patriots were confident in him.
Now, he’s relegated to backup duties, potentially third-string behind Brian Hoyer, yet again.