The New England Patriots and free agent quarterback Cam Newton have reportedly reached agreement on an incentive-laden, one-year contract.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport both reported the news Sunday evening. According to Rapoport, the deal is worth up to $7.5 million.
“This has been in the works,” Rapoport tweeted. “A bare minimum deal.”
Newton will have the chance to compete with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to replace Patriots legend Tom Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay in March after 20 seasons in New England.
The Panthers released Newton, the No. 1 pick in 2011 and 2015 NFL MVP, in March. It was part of an offseason overhaul that saw Carolina lose franchise linebacker Luke Kuechly to retirement; release Newton, tight end Greg Olsen and defensive tackle Dontari Poe; bring in new head coach Matt Rhule; and sign free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Newton, the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner out of Auburn, was entering the final year of his contract at the time of his release, carrying a salary cap figure of $21.1 million in 2020.
Newton, 31, had shoulder surgery prior to the 2019 season and spent that offseason overhauling his nutrition and lifestyle choices. But he suffered a foot injury in the third preseason game in August at New England. After attempting to play through the injury, Newton was shut down for the season in September.
In 125 career games (124 starts), Newton has thrown for 29,041 yards with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions while compiling a 68-55-1 record. He also has 4,806 career rushing yards with 58 touchdowns.
Like Newton, Stidham finished his college career at Auburn. The Patriots selected him in fourth round in 2019 and he played in three games as a rookie last season. He completed 2 of 4 passes for 14 yards with no touchdowns and an interception that was returned for a touchdown on his first career drive.
Brady won six Super Bowls with the Patriots, establishing himself as arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. He currently sits second to Drew Brees in career passing yards (74,571) and passing touchdowns (541).