BOSTON — The New England Patriots have reached an agreement with free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, bringing in the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player to help the team move on from three-time MVP Tom Brady, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The one-year deal is worth up to $7.5 million with incentives, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. A Patriots spokesman said the team had nothing to announce Sunday night. The signing was first reported by ESPN.
“I’m as excited as I don’t know what right now!!" Newton posted on Instagram. “All praise to God!! Dropping content tomorrow!! I hope you’re ready!! Let’sgoPats.”
The Patriots had been heading to training camp with 2019 fourth-round draft choice Jarrett Stidham as the heir apparent to Brady, who led the team to six Super Bowl championships since 2001 but signed with Tampa Bay this
The only other experienced quarterback on the defending AFC East champions' roster was 34-year-old Brian Hoyer, who has started 38 games in an 11-year career with seven NFL teams, including the Patriots twice.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection who was the league's top player in 2015, Newton remains the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns rushing by a quarterback. He had one year remaining on a five-year, $103.8 million contract, but the Panthers saved $19.1 million under the salary cap by releasing him on March 24.
The 31-year-old Newton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft after leading Auburn to a national championship and winning the Heisman Trophy. He helped the Panthers reach the playoffs four times, including the Super Bowl in 2015.
The Panthers finished 15-1 that season and Newton won league MVP
After missing the
Newton had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff before the 2019 season. But he injured his foot in a brief appearance in the third preseason game against New England; he played only two games last season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken bone in his foot.
Newton has been rehabbing ever since, posting several workout videos on Instagram. But because of the new coronavirus, he hasn’t had a chance to meet with other teams to show he’s healthy.
In nine seasons, he has completed 2,371 passes for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns with 108 interceptions. He has also run for 4,806 yards and 58 scores.
AP Sports Writer Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
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Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press