The NFL is a passing, quarterback-driven league, and that’s why teams can only win with a playmaking signal-caller.
And while Tom Brady has won more Super Bowls (six) than any quarterback in NFL history making sportsbook fans of the Patriots for the last decades unbelievably happy, he’s 43 years old, and just can’t keep up against today’s explosive pass-rushers. He, unlike Drew Brees, has maintained his arm strength, but he simply can’t move around in the pocket anymore, and opposing teams know all they need is to move the pocket-passer off his spot. Not only that, collapsing the pocket with an interior pass rush is a viable strategy as well.
Oct 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
But Cam Newton, given his skill set, is quite the opposite.
Newton has a strong arm, but the six-foot-five, 245-pound quarterback can also run over defenses with his legs. He won the MVP Award in 2015, and while he’s moving out of his prime, it’s clear that the two shoulder surgeries he underwent in the past helped his arm strength, and he’s now able to throw with velocity. And, most importantly, he’s 12 years younger than Brady, so his dual-threat ability allows the Patriots to really open up their playbook and call a variety of different plays, operating from a variety of different formations.
And that’s why we believe Newton gives the Patriots a better chance to win a Super Bowl than Brady. Fans lamented when TB12 took his talents to Tampa Bay during the offseason, but the fact remains that his best years are behind him. Not only that, he’s making an average of $25 million per year with the Bucs, while Newton cost the Patriots the league minimum — a paltry $1 million. His contract gives the team the cap flexibility it needs, and the Patriots can even trade for a top-tier wide receiver in the future if they choose, as they have the room to absorb a contract. They’re now well-positioned to build a receiving corps that can maximize Newton’s talent, and they can stretch the field vertically — something Brady has not done in over five years. A vertical attack is far more effective than a horizontal-based one, as it stretches opposing defenses — keeping them honest.
Sep 27, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots will, most likely, offer Newton a contract extension in the near future, and fans should be excited about it, as they have a bright future ahead of them, rather than a quarterback who’s one hit away from retirement. The offseason move sure worked out in their favor.