Cam Newton and the New England Patriots are looking to run it back in 2021.
Newton signed a one-year deal on Friday worth up to $14 million to return with the Patriots. The knee-jerk reaction to this news is that it hurts the possibility for the San Francisco 49ers to trade Jimmy Garoppolo to New England. Newton was the starter last season after all, so it only makes sense that he could be the starter once again.
However, that could not be further from the truth.
Newton’s deal with the Patriots has little to no impact for a Garoppolo trade. He may have signed a deal worth $14 million, but Newton’s base salary is $5 million. The rest of the money is tied with incentives, which is in case Newton ends up as the starter.
Overall, Newton is being paid backup quarterback money. The Patriots still have the room to add another quality player at quarterback to be the starter. Newton is just their contingency plan. And since they have ample salary cap space, they can easily withstand the brunt of Garoppolo’s contract.
Plus, there is still the possibility that Garoppolo takes a pay cut to go to the Patriots. That could be a condition for the Patriots to acquire Garoppolo and he just might be willing. Recently acquired offensive tackle Trent Brown did that after reuniting with the Patriots via trade from the Las Vegas Raiders. Players just love to be flexible to play in New England. That is how much profound respect players have for Bill Belichick.
In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Garoppolo at this point wants to go back to the Patriots. The 49ers have been leaving him out to dry as they tap on the shoulders of other teams for quarterbacks. That should tell Garoppolo what the 49ers think of him. Meanwhile, Belichick wanted to trade the GOAT Tom Brady over him.
In New England, Garoppolo will be appreciated and fit the offense like a glove. Along with Newton operating like a Taysom Hill utilities player, the Patriots could actually be effective next season.
The only real damper on the Patriots signing Newton is that the 49ers do not have any leverage. There is no pressure for the Patriots to acquire Garoppolo because they have a sufficient starter now. All Newton's deal truly does is hurt the 49ers' compensation in a trade.