New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick appeared to be dead-set on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham to take over for Tom Brady. The Patriots had ample opportunities to sign a number of free agents and then Belichick passed on drafting a quarterback too.
Then, it happened. Belichick and the Patriots decided to sign former NFL MVP Cam Newton to a one-year contract for the league veteran’s minimum. The move has sent a shock wave through the NFL futures market.
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Shift of Power in AFC East
With the departure of Brady to Tampa Bay in free agency, the balance of power in the AFC East was supposed to shift. The Patriots have won 11 straight division titles, but with Brady gone the favorite to win in 2020 was the Buffalo Bills.
The Bills were given +110 odds to win the division followed by New England at +140. With Newton’s arrival in Beantown, those odds have readjusted. The Patriots are now the favorite at +115 with Buffalo trailing at +130. See the latest NFL betting news.
The Conference Race
Before last season, New England played in eight straight conference championship games. It was an unheard of streak in today’s free agency climate. With Brady gone and Stidham the heir apparent, New England’s odds to win the AFC were as high as +2000.
Enter Newton into the picture and New England now sits at +1000 to win the AFC behind favorites Kansas City (+600) and Baltimore (+650). It’s amazing the impact that a player like Newton can have.
Super Bowl LV
With an untested second-year quarterback, the Patriots were not really a factor in the race for a possible seventh Super Bowl victory. Before Newton, New England was given +2500 odds to win this year’s Lombardi Trophy.
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After Newton, the Patriots’ odds shifted to +2000 to win it all. New England will still have a Belichick-coached defense, which was among the best in the league last year. Now with a quarterback the caliber of Newton, the Patriots have a legitimate chance at playing for a seventh Super Bowl ring.
There was a huge shift in the odds for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year in 2020. Leading the charge is Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers veteran missed almost the entire 2019 campaign with an elbow injury. He returns as a +350 favorite to win this year’s award.
Newton was an afterthought for Comeback Player of the Year after he was released by Carolina. Newton was listed as a longshot at +1000 prior to signing with New England. Now a Patriot, Newton shot up the betting board making top cappers notice, and is now given +450 odds to win the award.
Newton has 124 career starts with a 68-55-1 record. He has completed 59.6 percent of his passes for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns. He will likely surpass 30,000 career yards this season.
Newton won the 2015 MVP and has been selected to the Pro Bowl three times. If he can find the groove he had just before all of his injury complications, the Comeback Player of the Year award could easily be his.
In the first half of the 2018 season, Newton was completing over 67 percent of his passes for 1,893 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also had 342 yards rushing and another four touchdowns.