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ESPN NFL experts
Three months after being released by the rebuilding Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton is headed to the New England Patriots. The 31-year-old quarterback and 2015 MVP reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Patriots, who moved on from Tom Brady this offseason.
Newton, who continues to rehab from December foot surgery, had a physical in Atlanta on March 23, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He passed the physical and is healthy, with both his right shoulder — which he injured in 2018 — and left foot “checking out well,” a source told Schefter. Newton will compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting job in New England.
What was the reaction inside the league to Newton’s move to the Patriots? Is he locked in as their Week 1 starter? And are they the favorites — again — to win the AFC East? We asked 10 ESPN NFL reporters and analysts to answer 10 questions on the move:
Assuming Newton is healthy, do you expect him to be the Patriots’ 2020 starter?
Mike Reiss, Patriots reporter: He won’t be handed the job — that’s generally not the way it works in New England — but he should be the odds-on favorite based on his résumé and big-game experience.
Bill Belichick often says it’s up to players to determine their roles, and for Newton to win the job, his first step will be to immerse himself in the Patriots’ hard-driving culture that requires players to check their egos at the door and put the team first. Then there will be an acclimation to new terminology in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system. So there is no guarantee. But given how his career résumé stacks up against Stidham and Hoyer, it seems fair to say it’s now Newton’s job to lose.