No downside to Cam Newton's deal with the New England Patriots, says NBC Boston's Phil Perry
"I just feel as though if it works out you have somehow acquired the most valuable position in the sport at a minimum salary and a player who can totally reshape your offense in what is really a period of transition as you move away from Tom Brady"
By Cameron Hogwood and Richard Graves
Last Updated: 30/06/20 9:27am
Between a bargain contract and faith in the next man in line, the potential rewards exceed the slim element of risk for NBC Boston's Phil Perry when it comes to the New England Patriots' decision to sign Cam Newton.
Newton has joined the six-time Super Bowl champions on a one-year deal worth up to just $7.5m having been released by the Carolina Panthers after nine seasons in March.
To put the 2015 league MVP's contract into perspective, Chase Daniel signed a three-year $13m deal with the Detroit Lions this offseason despite have started just five games in his 10 seasons as a backup in the NFL.
The arrival of Newton is expected to prolong Jarrett Stidham's wait for an opportunity under center, with the 2019 fourth-round pick having been tipped to take over following Tom Brady's departure.
"There's no downside to this Cam Newton acquisition," Perry told Sky Sports News' Richard Graves. "I just feel as though if it works out you have somehow acquired the most valuable position in the sport at a minimum salary and a player who can totally reshape your offense in what is really a period of transition as you move away from Tom Brady.
"If it doesn't work out, you go with the kid Jarrett Stidham and if that works out, again you've invested very little in the guy, a fourth round pick a couple of years ago.
"If you have a player there then all of a sudden you can spend your money, your cap space and next offseason you can build around that player and add capable, accomplished pieces to critical positions.
"20 years with Tom Brady, in the last decade you have been Super Bowl favourite year after year, if you can somehow find a way to be a playoff team and a legitimate contender I think that will be one of Bill Belichick's greatest accomplishments in his career.
"There will be no tanking in New England."
Newton was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc fracture after just two games last season and was shut down by the Panthers after 14 games in 2018 due to a shoulder problem, which later required surgery.
While the 31-year-old's heavy involvement in the Panthers running game has seen him endure some serious physical punishment, Perry doesn't believe his injury past will be too much of a concern for the Patriots.
"It's really not that great of a gamble because the investment is not that significant," he added.
"If it doesn't work out because he's not healthy or he doesn't win the job outright, maybe he's still a little bit rusty and maybe Jarrett Stidham, who the Patriots do like, beats him out and Cam Newton is unhappy about that they can cut ties right away and they haven't sunk a whole lot of money into him so it doesn't hurt them.
"The injury history is real and only nine years into his career, you've got Tom Brady playing into his fourties, but he's such a different style of quarterback, he has put his body through the ringer through the better part of the last decade.
"He has the talent of an elite running back in a 6ft 5 250lb frame and that's how the Panthers used him. What we've seen from Newton the last couple of years is the tax you pay for using your quarterback that way.
"He's dealt with the foot last year, he's dealt with the right shoulder injury, if those things are are right he's a top 10 quarterback in the NFL, but those are significant injuries so a lot of questions still to be answered about Cam Newton's health."