The New England Patriots officially will start the “Life after Tom Brady” era with Cam Newton at quarterback.
Bill Belichick informed the Pats during a team meeting Thursday morning that Newton, the former NFL MVP, has been named the team’s starting signal caller, according to multiple reports.
Brady, of course, signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent in March following 20 seasons in New England, teaming with Belichick for six Super Bowl championships.
Newton was inked to a one-year deal worth up to $7.5 million on July 8 after appearing in only two games with the Carolina Panthers last season due to a foot injury. Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, was league MVP in leading the Panthers to a 15-1 regular-season record before a Super Bowl 50 defeat to Denver.
Newton beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham — out for a few weeks with a hip injury — and journeyman Brian Hoyer for the Patriots’ starting job. The 31-year-old was also named a team captain. New England has won 11 straight AFC East titles and 16 of the last 17.
“Nobody works harder than Cam does,” Belichick said Monday on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Cam’s the type of player that works on things that he’s not as good at, and really tries to improve on a daily basis. And that’s something I really respect about him. That’s not easy for players — really, any of us — to do.”