Cam Newton 'Was Fool's Gold' When Patriots Signed Him to Contract, Says NFL Exec

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2020

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) reacts after rushing for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Munson)
John Munson/Associated Press

Cam Newton appeared to be a game-changing signing for the New England Patriots when he was added in June, but an NFL executive has said the quarterback was "fool's gold," per Mike Sando of The Athletic.

"People were like, 'Oh my God! All these other teams did not sign Cam,'" the exec added. "OK, Cam was not signing with the [Denver] Broncos to be their backup."

After several months on the open market, Newton signed with New England on a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million in incentives but just $1.05 million in base salary.

The executive also noted the team could receive a compensatory pick if the quarterback leaves in free agency, with ESPN's Adam Schefter previously reporting it could result in a 2022 third-round selection.

When first signed, Newton appeared perfect for the team's need at quarterback following Tom Brady's departure. While he had dealt with injuries to his shoulder and foot in recent years, his upside was obvious as a former MVP and an elite dual-threat weapon.

The 31-year-old showcased his ability over the first three weeks of the season, leading the team to wins over the Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders, as well as a close loss to the Seattle Seahawks, against whom he threw for 397 yards.

He hasn't been the same since testing positive for COVID-19 in Week 4, missing one game and multiple weeks of practice in the process.

The Patriots have lost the past three games with Newton under center, including Sunday to the Buffalo Bills, with the quarterback responsible for a key fumble late.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Cam Newton fumbles 😱 Bills win. (via @thecheckdown) https://t.co/Ab61vrSvsF

It was Newton's sixth turnover in three weeks, and he had only two rushing touchdowns and no passing scores during this stretch.

At 2-5, New England is 3.5 games behind the Bills in the AFC East standings, and it appears to be a rare rebuilding year after two decades of dominance.


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