Yesterday the Patriots made two very important personal moves. First, they signed Cam Newton for one more year, then shortly after, they signed Justin Bethel for 3 more years.
As Evan Lazar reported, the Patriots asked the 49ers front office about Jimmy G, but they didn’t want to trade him or just later and the Pats wanted to have a veteran QB on board before the FA starts next week, so they pulled the trigger and signed Cam Newton back. Why is it so important to have a better QB on the roster, when FA starts? The Patriots needs high end WR/TE players in the team, but the Stidham/Dolegala tandem wasn’t the most inviting enviroment for those players. Newton still brings lot of positive wibes with him, he is a leader, Belichick really liked his work ethic and as it looks, the coaches don’t think everything was Cam’s fault last year. Don’t forget one year before, even Tom Brady wasn’t able to bring the Patriots into the divisional round in the Playoffs, with almost the same receiving group and 20 years of experience in the system.
Playing with Cam Newton could be a good argument for many younger players, especially on the offensive side. Cam offers experience in the system, he knows it and the system knows him as well. He will have now a full offseason to be more familiar with the whole playbook, reads and expectations. He will be healthier now, than he was last year. Especially that covid period was really hard for him, as he explained it in a longer interview (I am an athlete) few weeks ago. I am 100% sure Bill Belichick and the crew will try to do everything they can, to make the supporting cast better. As many reports indicate it, the Patriots are about to spend top money on receiving targets. They made a big trade and brought Trent Brown back to the team, so the Oline will be there to help the QBs.
As first reported – and many were shocked – the contract value is up to $13,5M. But as Miguel Benzan aka @patscap always says, we should waiting for the details. Here are the details, as Ben Volin reported:
Cam has only $3,5M guaranteed money in his contract. Last year he played in more tha 80% of the offensive snaps, so the “60% of snaps played” incentive this year goes to the LTBE (likely to be earned) category. Cam will get $88.235,29 per games on the roster, which could bring him to another $1,5M bonus. These are the official numbers for him, which would hit the 2021 cap. Every other bonuses/incentives are NLTBE (not likely to be earned). If Cam reaches any NLTBE level, those amounts will hit the 2022 cap. I think Cam will play more than 70% of the snaps, but less than 80%, because of the other new QB will get playing time as well. Plus I believe (I am optimistic) the team will reach the Playoffs, so Cam will reach at least 2 more incentives (60% + PO, 70% + PO).
If he leads the team to a Super Bowl win, where he is the starter, his salary will go way over $10M, but I guess in this case, we won’t have any bad feelings to give him the money. Again, any LTBE parts will hit the 2021 cap, any NLTBE parts what he reached will hit the 2022 cap.
What’s next? As I mentioned above, I would be shocked if the team wouldn’t draft a young QB. This is the year, when I can see, BB picks a QB in the first round. Or maybe not. We could never know if we are talking about Bill Belichick. Does Cam’s return mean the return of Damiere Byrd or the signing of another ex-Cam team mate, Curtis Samuel? The WR gorup must be fixed. An additional TE is expected as well. I would bet the team will target Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith, but maybe Kyle Rudolph could be the name here. Anyway, Cam (and the other new QB) needs new buddies on the receiving side.
This signing goes under the radar, after the news about Cam came out, but for the Patriots this is a very important signing as well. Bethel was one of the best ST players during his 1,5 year in Foxboro. He will be 31 during the summer. His 3 years contract worth up to $6M as Mike Reiss reported, but we don’t know the details of it. Bethel is a Pro Bowl ST player, who was the second most important ST player behind Matthew Slater. His signing is a big one, because we still don’t know if Slater will come back for 2021 and if he comes back, this will be the last year of his contract, so there is a need for a leader in the ST for longer period. I hope Slater will be there, but with this signing now, the ST have a succession plan on place.