- Patriots’ Super Bowl 55 odds shorten to +1800 after signing Cam Newton
- Newton signed a one-year, incentive-heavy deal after leaving Carolina
- Only five teams have better Super Bowl odds than New England
For a couple of months now, many have been operating under the assumption that Jarrett Stidham would be the New England Patriots’ choice to replace Tom Brady in 2020. Brady left Foxborough after 20 years with the franchise earlier this offseason. Despite the fact that the free-agent market was actually rife with QB options, the Patriots weren’t overly active.
That all changed on Sunday night, when ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that New England would be signing former league MVP Cam Newton to a one-year deal. Newton has been on the open market since being released by the Panthers earlier this year.
Questions about Newton’s physical health have resulted in the former No. 1 overall pick remaining unsigned for months. The Panthers opted to move on from the 31-year-old after signing free agent Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative deal back in March.
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has reached agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots, league sources tell @mortreport and me.
Newton now will step into the mix to try to help replace former Patriots’ QB Tom Brady.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 28, 2020
Newton’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum, though he stands to make more money if he meets certain incentives.
Newton is continuing to rehab from foot surgery, and he reportedly underwent a physical in Atlanta back in March. Schefter reported that Newton’s foot and throwing shoulder graded out well, and that he should be ready to play football by the time the season starts later this fall.
Patriots’ Super Bowl, AFC East Odds Shorten
The news of the Newton signing helped the Patriots’ Super Bowl odds, too. Several NFL betting sides have nudged the Pats’ odds to win Super Bowl 55 up to around +1800. Before the news, New England was commonly listed in the neighborhood of +2500 to win the franchise’s seventh title in 2020.
As of now, there are only five teams with better odds to win it all next season than New England. Those teams would be the Chiefs (+650), Ravens (+700), 49ers (+1000), Saints (+1200), and Brady’s new team, the Bucs (+1500).
The Newton pick-up has also resulted in the Patriots leapfrogging the Bills as favorites to win the AFC East. The Pats are now prohibitive +110 favorites, while Buffalo has dropped to +150. Before Newton joined New England, it was the Patriots in the vicinity of +150, while the Bills were closer to even-money.
Low-Risk Move For New England
The move is a low-risk, high-reward one for the Pats. Newton has been one of the more durable quarterbacks in football since joining the Panthers in 2011, but he was limited to just two games last season before a foot injury ended his campaign. In 2018, Newton completed nearly 68 percent of his throws for 3,395 yards with 24 touchdowns to 13 interceptions.
Newton’s size (6’5”, 245) has made him one of the game’s more effective rushing quarterbacks over the course of his career, but it remains to be seen how he recovers from the foot ailment. At this stage of his career, it’s fair to assume that the running component won’t be as prevalent in his game, though his size can still make him useful in short-yardage situations.
Of course, Newton won’t just show up and win the starting job in New England. While the signing is an indication that the Patriots may not be sold on Stidham’s readiness for the spotlight, Bill Belichick has never been the type of coach to just give jobs to players based on their resumes.
Pats’ Improved Outlook
Regardless, Newton’s presence clearly makes the Patriots a more viable betting option than they were before. Assuming he can stay healthy, there is little reason to believe he doesn’t still have plenty left in the tank.
Newton should be able to provide the offense with much more stability than they likely would have enjoyed with Stidham under center. Stidham is entering just his second pro season after being a fourth-round pick in 2019. Armed with a defense that was arguably the league’s best last season, and plenty of quality offensive weaponry, it’s easy to see why the Patriots’ betting outlook is looking rosier now than it did even 24 hours ago.