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NFL world reacts to Cam Newton returning to New England Patriots for $14 million

NFL power rankings: New England Patriots
Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton is reportedly re-signing with the New England Patriots, returning to Bill Belichick and Co. as both sides look to rebound from a dismal 2020 NFL season.

The Boston Globe‘s Jim McBride first reported the news, with the former NFL MVP accepting a one-year contract to return to New England for the 2021 season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the deal, which could be worth up to $14 million.

Newton signed with the Patriots in June 2020, hoping to bounce back after two injury-riddled seasons with the Carolina Panthers. As for New England, despite hyping up Jarrett Stidham, the team wanted more stability from its starting quarterback as it searched for a Tom Brady replacement.

Related: Bill Belichick raved about Cam Newton, wanted him to return

He got off to a hot start with the Patriots. Newton completed 78.9% of his passes and rushed for 75 yards and two scores in a season-opening win against the Miami Dolphins. A week later, he threw for 397 yards and racked up three total touchdowns in a last-second loss to the Seattle Seahawks. When the Patriots came out of Week 3 with a 2-1 record and Newton accounting for six total touchdowns, this looked like a playoff team.

Column: Why Cam Newton could be New England Patriots’ best option at quarterback

Everything unraveled in October. Days before facing the Kansas City Chiefs, Newton tested positive for COVID-19. The game was postponed and Newton didn’t return until Oct. 18, but he wasn’t the same. After the season ended, the 31-year-old quarterback revealed the issues playing post-COVID caused and how a short offseason impacted the team’s performance and cohesion.

New England aggressively explored its quarterback options this offseason. The team pursued Matthew Stafford, but he didn’t want to play for the Patriots. Belichick wanted to acquire Jimmy Garoppolo, but the San Francisco 49ers are keeping him. So, with their options limited, New England is bringing back the quarterback it feels will rebound next season.

The Patriots aren’t done at quarterback. The team still wants to find its long-term starter and that could come via the 2021 NFL Draft. With the No. 15 pick, a developmental passer like Trey Lance could fall right into New England’s lap and be the perfect quarterback to develop behind Newton.

NFL world responds to New England Patriots bringing back Cam Newton

As word spread of Newton re-signing with the Patriots, NFL fans and analysts erupted with reactions to his return. While many were happy, others aren’t exactly pleased that New England settled for the same option as last season.

Related: Cam Newton reveals his hilarious nickname for Bill Belichick

While many are happy to see Cam Newton re-sign with the Patriots, some fans weren’t as pleased.