Free-agent quarterback Cam Newton has agreed to a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, ESPN reported on Sunday night citing league sources.
The 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player will join the six-time Super Bowl champions on an incentive-laden deal to challenge 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer for the starting job vacated by three-time MVP Tom Brady, who left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. Stidham appeared in three games last season, completing two passes for 14 yards with one interception.
The NFL Network reported the contract is worth up to $7.5m, citing an informed source.
“I’m as excited as I don’t what right now!!” Newton posted on Instagram. “All praise to God!! Dropping content tomorrow!! I hope you’re ready!! Let’sgoPats.”
Newton, a former No 1 overall draft pick who turned 31 in May, had spent his entire nine-year professional career with the Carolina Panthers until he was released by the team in March after they signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63m pact. He had one year remaining on a five-year, $103.8m contract, but the Panthers saved $19.1m under the salary cap by releasing him on 24 March.
The Auburn product and Heisman trophy winner, who passed for 45 touchdowns and led Carolina to the Super Bowl during a scintillating 2015 campaign, has struggled with injuries in the years since, missing 14 games last season with a foot ailment and playing the final two games of 2018 with a torn rotator cuff that also required surgery.
In nine years, he has completed 2,371 passes for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns with 108 interceptions. He has also run for 4,806 yards and 58 scores and remains the NFL’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.