BOSTON — The New England Patriots have reached an agreement with free-agent quarterback Cam Newton, bringing in the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player to help the team move on from three-time MVP Tom Brady, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The one-year deal is worth up to $7.5 million with incentives, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. A Patriots spokesman said the team had nothing to announce Sunday night. The signing was first reported by ESPN.
“I’m as excited as I don’t know what right now!!” Newton posted on Instagram. “All praise to God!! Dropping content tomorrow!! I hope you’re ready!! Let’sgoPats.”
The Patriots had been heading to training camp with 2019 fourth-round draft choice Jarrett Stidham as the heir apparent to Brady, who led the team to six Super Bowl championships since 2001 but signed with Tampa Bay this offseason. Stidham appeared in three games last season, completing two passes for 14 yards with one interception.
The only other experienced quarterback on the defending AFC East champions’ roster was 34-year-old Brian Hoyer, who has started 38 games in an 11-year career with seven NFL teams, including the Patriots twice.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection who was the league’s top player in 2015, Newton remains the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns rushing by a quarterback. He had one year remaining on a five-year, $103.8 million contract, but the Panthers saved $19.1 million under the salary cap by releasing him on March 24.
The 31-year-old Newton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft after leading Auburn to a national championship and winning the Heisman Trophy. He helped the Panthers reach the playoffs four times, including the Super Bowl in 2015.
The Panthers finished 15-1 that season and Newton won league MVP honors after throwing for 3,837 and 35 touchdowns and rushing for 636 yards and 10 TDs. But he was criticized after Carolina’s 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl for not jumping on a loose ball late in the game and cutting his postgame news conference short.
After missing the postseason in 2016, the Panthers returned after going 11-5 the next year, losing to the New Orleans Saints in the wild-card round. More problematic, a shoulder injury severely hampered his throwing in 2018; after starting 6-2, the Panthers lost their next seven games.
Newton had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff before the 2019 season. But he injured his foot in a brief appearance in the third preseason game against New England; he played only two games last season before being placed on injured reserve with a broken bone in his foot.
Newton has been rehabbing ever since, posting several workout videos on Instagram. But because of the new coronavirus, he hasn’t had a chance to meet with other teams to show he’s healthy.
In nine seasons, he has completed 2,371 passes for 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns with 108 interceptions. He has also run for 4,806 yards and 58 scores.
AP Sports Writer Steve Reed in Charlotte, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
Model Middle School’s Avery Eury has been selected to participate in the USA Softball All-American Games next month in Oklahoma City. Eury will be one of 45 athletes representing the southeast region (Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee) at the distinguished tournament. The 24-team tournament runs from Aug. 14-16 in Oklahoma City.
The southeast region will consist of three teams, made up of 15 players and two coaches each. Eury was picked for Region 3 Blue. Region 3 Blue captured the tournament championship last year.
The All-American Games showcase some of the best 12U fastpitch softball talent from across the nation, providing much exposure. The three-day event, taking place at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, is fashioned to recognize the elite talent of individual players. A high honor, only 360 athletes from across the United States will take part in the games.
Rome High School rising senior Hogan Ingram shined on the golf course last week, staging a comeback in the final round to win the 2020 GSGA Junior Championship by one stroke in Savannah.
“Just to compete with the best junior golfers in Georgia is great, but to come out on top is the best,” Ingram said. “It just shows all these great players in Georgia. The quality of play is some of the best in the country, so to come out on top means a lot in this event.”
Ingram came back down seven strokes in the final round to take the championship by just one stroke. He completed the three-day tournament with scores of 73-70-71. The GSGA Junior Championship featured 120 golfers from across the state of Georgia.
“I tried to put the pressure on early and it worked out,” Ingram said. “I just tried to play smart and aggressive when I could. I was able to make some putts.”
Ingram is the first Rome High School student to capture the GSGA Junior Championship since Justin Kim won the 50th edition four years ago in Augusta.
With Ingram set to begin his senior year at Rome High, he said he’s looking forward to his final season competing with Wolves’ golf team.
“As a team, we’re hoping to make state,” Ingram said. “(Personally) area and state would be my main goals this season.”