Patriots Sign Cam Newton to One-Year Deal

Quarterback Cam Newton, a former N.F.L. most valuable player who has been dogged by injuries in recent years, has signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports.

Newton, who was drafted first over all in 2011 by the Carolina Panthers and has played his entire career in Carolina, became a free agent this off-season. After missing just six games in his first eight seasons, he played in just two games last year. Newton has injured his knee, shoulder and the Lisfranc ligament of his left foot, necessitating surgery — a few months before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted off-season N.F.L. player movement.

Newton was released by the Panthers in March amid an organizational reshuffling that saw the departures of the head coach, Ron Rivera, and a stalwart linebacker, Luke Kuechly.

Before injuries slowed him down, Newton, 31, was one of the league’s most dominant quarterbacks and the best offensive player in Panthers history. He has thrown for more than 29,000 yards and 182 touchdowns in his career. He has run for more than 4,800 yards and 58 touchdowns as well.

His best season came in 2015, when the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl. Newton was voted winner of the Most Valuable Player Award that year. Newton guided the Panthers to four postseason appearances.

The deal was first reported by ESPN and confirmed by NFL Network. The Patriots declined to comment on the report of Newton’s signing. Newton’s agent, Bus Cook, did not immediately return requests for comment.

By signing Newton to a one-year contract, the Patriots will risk little but potentially gain a seasoned, athletic quarterback. The team’s longtime quarterback, Tom Brady, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March.

The Patriots’ roster of quarterbacks also includes Jarrett Stidham, whom the Patriots selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft and who appeared in just three games as a backup last season. At quarterback, the Patriots will also have Brian Hoyer, who is in his second stint with the team, J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke going into training camp.

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