Quarterback Cam Newton has reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The deal, if completed, would make Newton, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and league MVP for the Carolina Panthers, the replacement in New England for Tom Brady, the six-time Super Bowl winner who left the Patriots in free agency in March.
The Patriots did not confirm the deal Sunday night, and its completion is pending the outcome of a physical for Newton, according to those with knowledge of the deliberations. Newton, 31, underwent two shoulder surgeries in recent years and missed almost all of last season with a foot injury.
Still, he would give the Patriots a highly accomplished successor to Brady, who signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that can be worth as much as $59 million, including incentives. Newton's contract with the Patriots is much more modest, with a maximum value of about $7.5 million if he reaches all incentives.
Newton joins second-year pro Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer in the Patriots' quarterback mix.
The Panthers released Newton in March after their attempts to trade him failed. The team signed Teddy Bridgewater in free agency as Newton's replacement for its new head coach, Matt Rhule. Newton remained available in free agency for much of the offseason, with teams unable to have their medical staffs examine him because of restrictions imposed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.