The New England Patriots grabbed headlines by signing Cam Newton, which should be good for N’Keal Harry.
The New England Patriots made a big move at the quarterback position on Monday, signing former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The deal is incentive-laden and could be worth up to $7.5 million.
Newton has dealt with a lot of injuries in recent seasons, and there are still questions about how healthy he will be going forward. But, it’s definitely worth the risk for the Patriots, who lost Tom Brady in the offseason and were ready to roll with 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham.
The biggest part of the Newton addition, though, is regarding 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry, and there’s a real chance that signing Newton helps him out a ton. Harry was a more polarizing wide receiver prospect in the NFL Draft community.
While many praised his production, the main concern with Harry was his ability to create consistent separation. He won in a lot of contested spots at Arizona State and was dynamite after the catch.
Harry dealt with an injury that forced him to miss a major portion of the season, and in seven games, he caught just 12 passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. There will be much higher expectations in year two for Harry, especially with Julian Edelman getting older.
The good news is that Newton likes trusting bigger receivers to win in contested spots. Kelvin Benjamin produced 1,000 yards in his rookie season and 941 in his third year with Newton throwing him the ball. Devin Funchess hung his hat on winning as a possession receiver over the middle and down the field and produced an 841 yard, eight touchdown season in 2017 with Newton.
If Harry can build trust with Newton early on in their time with the Patriots, Newton will give Harry chances to make plays down the field and could ignite his career. Harry’s ability to win in contested spots will be maximized, and the Patriots offense can be humming once again in 2020.