We have absolutely no idea how good former NFL MVP Cam Newton is going to look in a New England Patriots uniform once Week 1 come calling in 10 days or so.
What we do know is that Newton has looked tremendous in training camp as he attempts to replace six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady under center for head coach Bill Belichick and Co.
Newton received some big news ahead of his opener against the Miami Dolphins.
Cam Newton named Patriots Week 1 starting quarterback
According to multiple media reports, Newton has beaten out second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer for the starting job.
In no way should this come as too much of a surprise. Stidham is dealing with an injury that forced him to be rushed to the hospital earlier in camp. Hoyer was pretty much going to be a backup, regardless of who started Week 1 against Miami.
Though, Belichick himself has had some major praise for the former No. 1 pick in their short time together. It’s an astonishing turnabout given that Newton signed late in the offseason and without teams being able to hold in-person workouts.
For Newton, this is obviously a new lease on life after he missed all but two games a season ago with the Panthers due to a Lisfranc injury. Immediately after signing with the Patriots on a below-market one-year deal, Newton was seen holding individual workouts with new teammates.
Any thought given to the idea that the immaturity narrative surrounding Newton in Carolina was going to make its way to New England could have been thrown out the window right then.
Cam Newton named Patriots team captain
In more shocking news on Thursday, the Patriots also named Newton one of their eight team captains.
Normally a starting quarterback being given the captain title wouldn’t be a big deal. However, Belichick does not hand them out like participation trophies. That’s just the latest example of Newton earning the respect of his teammates and tough-as-nails head coach.
To be clear, the Patriots are entering a season of transition. Not only did Tom Brady sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they lost a whole host of other starters in free agency. Add in the fact that seven members of the team opted out of the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s magnified even further.
Even then, it sure the heck looks like Newton’s new lease on life has led to renewed energy for the former NFL MVP. If that is indeed true, the Patriots might have found themselves the gem of the 2020 offseason.