According to the Boston Globe's Jim McBride, the Patriots are bringing back Cam Newton for the 2021 season on a one-year deal. The move comes prior to the start of the league year next week, giving the team a veteran presence at a position group that previously featured only Jarrett Stidham and Jake Dolegala.
Adam Schefter reports that the deal is worth close to $14 million.
Newton had expressed his interest in returning for another season after leading the Patriots to a 7-8 record as the starter in 2020, throwing eight touchdown passes and 10 interceptions while rushing for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns. He signed late in the summer of 2020 and, with limited training camp and no preseason action, was named the team's starter, but saw his season derailed in Week 4 after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the team struggled to get back on track after that.
With a full season under his belt and now a full offseason on tap for this spring and summer, Newton should finally have a chance to get caught up and fully prepare for the 2021 season. Whether or not that helps him recapture some of his early-career magic will be a hot storyline to monitor heading into this summer's training camp.
While the move should take the Patriots out of the immediate action on a limited free-agent quarterback class, the long-term need at the position remains and should still be a priority in April's draft.