The New England Patriots interrupted a very slow Sunday night with the news that Cam Newton will be signing with the team on a 1-year deal.
The news reverberated across the country but also at places like the Winning Poker Network sportsbooks. New England is now +1050 to win the AFC Conference, down from +1500. They are also the -112 favorite to win the AFC East division over Buffalo (+135), with the teams flip-flopping.
The Patriots are reportedly high on second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham. However, the chance to sign a former league-MVP to a veteran minimum contract (with incentives up to $7.5 Million) was too good to pass up. Remember, Newton is only 31 years-old, with his birthday last May.
I believe that Newton will be the starter, as he seems to be recovered from his injuries and I don’t think he would have signed with New England if he thought there was any chance of being the backup. The Patriots could still be high on Stidham, but feel he needs another year of seasoning from the bench.
If Newton starts and plays well, New England has the option of signing him long-term. If he plays well and then signs with another team, the Pats could be in line for a high compensatory pick (as high as the third round).
Patriots now ranked third in the AFC
Kansas City (+245) and Baltimore (+250) are still the two heavy favorites in the conference. Both of those squads are very deserving.
I’m not as high on Newton as some others, believing his accuracy issues don’t make him a great fit to replace Tom Brady. One thing for sure though, his signing suddenly makes this Patriots team a lot more interesting.