Patriots' Julian Edelman: Cam Newton Is 'Definitely a Former MVP for a Reason'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) and quarterback Cam Newton (1) stretch during an NFL football training camp practice, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Veteran New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman likes what he sees from Cam Newton heading into the 2020 season.

"He's definitely a former MVP for a reason," Edelman said on WEEI (h/t Mike Reiss of ESPN). "The guy is a professional. He works his tail off. He's extremely dynamic, and he has a charming personality. It's been fun to be around. He has a confidence about him. All quarterbacks have a confidence, but it's just a little different with Cam. It's a vibe that can feel you and get you in a mindset."

Head coach Bill Belichick is yet to officially declare a winner in the quarterback competition between Newton, 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer, but Reiss pointed out Newton "has quickly established himself as a tone setter in New England—from his dancing to music during warm-ups to his booming voice across the practice field."

Reiss also pointed out Newton saw more repetitions during Thursday's practice after they were split between the quarterbacks during the first three training camp practices.

It would be stunning at this point if Newton wasn't the starter for the Patriots when they begin the 2020 season.

In addition to the comments from Edelman and the observations from Reiss, Newton has a far better resume than Hoyer and Stidham. The three-time Pro Bowler was the 2011 Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2015 league MVP and first-team All-Pro selection in 2015.

He also led the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl during that 2015 season, although they lost to the Denver Broncos.

Injuries have been a common theme of late for Newton, but he still threw for 3,395 yards and 24 touchdowns while scoring four more times on the ground during the 2018 campaign. He played just two games in 2019, which is one reason Carolina moved on from him this offseason.

New England added him with Tom Brady now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Newton wasted little time making an impression on Edelman as he prepares for his first season in the AFC.