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What Cam Newton’s signing means for Jarrett Stidham

Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, Patriots

After long-time quarterback Tom Brady left the New England Patriots, it seemed like Jarrett Stidham was heir to the throne. It all changed when the team recently decided to take a chance on the 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton.

The Patriots grabbed him at a bargain of a one-year deal, with a base of $1.05 million, and marked the end of Newton’s free-agent carousel.

Ryan Hannable of WEEI Sports Radio Network chimed in on the conversation about the recent signing for the Patriots:

“A lot of people are wondering what the addition of Newton means for Stidham, and it’s worth pointing out this doesn’t mean the organization doesn’t believe in him. It was able to get a former NFL MVP on an extremely low-risk contract, which was a no-brainer. It gives Stidham another year to get used to life in the NFL and then potentially become the starter in 2021. Think about it — was Jimmy Garoppolo ready to start games in his second season in the NFL? Probably not. Another year of learning could be a benefit for Stidham. And if he doesn’t take the addition of Newton well from a mental standpoint, doesn’t that mean maybe he’s not ready to be a NFL starter?”

Contrary to the statement, Newton isn’t completely locked to the Patriots’ starting job either. Bill Belichick has always picked the best player for the job at any position. If Stidham shows that he can lead the team, then he could certainly win the starting job.

It is also highly unlikely for Newton to stick around for a back-up role considering where he’s at in his career, so he’ll likely either be the Week 1 starter or released after training camp.

With the training camp set to begin in three weeks’ time, there is still a lot of uncertainty. The league has yet to finalize the safety protocols and some players could opt out of playing. This scenario can ultimately dictate which quarterback will get to start in Week 1 for the Patriots.

The acquisition of Newton only elevates the level of competition and will certainly be a good problem to have for Belichick and company.