Should KC Chiefs be concerned about Cam Newton signing with Patriots?

Cam Newton (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Should the Chiefs be concerned about Cam Newton’s signing with Patriots?

On Sunday, former NFL MVP Cam Newton finally found a new home after being cut from the Carolina Panthers in March. Much to the chagrin of most of the NFL, his new home was finally revealed to be with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.

Newton had been the speculation of trade rumors at one point during the 2019 season. However, he was ultimately cut from the team when new head coach Matt Rhule decided that signing Teddy Bridgewater in free agency was a better move than keeping their franchise quarterback of the last decade.

During his free agency, the 2011 number one overall draft pick was rumored to be in conversations with various teams, notably the Dallas Cowboys, but ultimately chose to wait it out and see what unfolded as the offseason went along. Unfortunately, the big or long term contract he was seeking never came. Newton’s one year deal with the Patriots is for the league minimum for a player of a his tenure, reportedly $7.5 million.

So, how does this impact the Kansas City Chiefs in their efforts to #runitback? The reality is that it does not do much. The Chiefs are still the best team in the AFC and should still be favored to win it all again.

The Patriots will be better, no doubt, with Cam Newton at the helm as opposed to second-year signal caller Jarrett Stidham or veteran journeyman Brian Hoyer. This particular point is not really up for debate, even if Newton is still suffering effects from lingering injuries going back his days in Carolina. But the question remains: are the Patriots better than they were in 2019?

The answer seems to be clearly “no, they are not.” Newton has been a great quarterback, but four years or so have passed since he was playing at a Pro Bowl level. While talented, he certainly does not possess the knowledge of offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel’s offense that Tom Brady does. To that end, the significantly short amount of time that Newton has to learn the offense is not ideal. The Patriots will also miss Brady’s football acumen on the field in 2020.

The other important note is that the Patriots are still not a great football team on the offensive side of the ball. It is possible that the defense is championship caliber. But does Newton have a single legitimately frightening weapon on offense? Can Cam Newton, in a new offense, with two months of offseason to learn the playbook, and a band of virtual unknowns or has-beens, really keep up in a shootout with Patrick Mahomes? No, certainly he cannot.

The other reality is that the Patriots are still not the best team in the AFC East, either. That distinction belongs to the Buffalo Bills, who should not only still win the division, but should also compete to be one of the best teams in the AFC.

Yes, signing Cam Newton to a one-year deal does make the Patriots better in 2020. But it does not do nearly enough for Belichick and company when it comes to legitimately closing the gap with the upper echelons of the AFC. Not only are they still not as good as the Bills, but they’re also still a large step behind the Baltimore Ravens and a massive leap behind the defending Super Bowl Champions.

Rest easy, Chiefs Kingdom. This one doesn’t really move the needle.

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