Cam Newton signing means Patriots dynasty ain’t dead yet

With one fell swoop, swooping in on Sunday night to sign Cam Newton to a one-year deal, Bill Belichick reminded the football world why you never count him out.

Newton, if healthy, immediately changes the landscape of the AFC East.

Sorry, Adam Gase. Sorry, Jets. Sorry, Bills.

The Patriots are not as sorry as you thought they might be with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.

A healthy Cam Newton with a massive chip on his strengthened shoulder ends all talk of a rebuilding season in New England, and gives the Patriots a legitimate shot at capturing their 12th straight AFC East title.

And a healthy Cam Newton gives Belichick a chance to beat Brady to a seventh Super Bowl.

Because know this about Cam Newton: following in Brady’s GOAT footsteps won’t bother him in the least.

After all the gnashing of teeth in New England about Jarrett Stidham and/or Brian Hoyer replacing Brady, Newton gets to ride to the rescue.

He gets his chance to win his first Super Bowl ring after losing Super Bowl 50 to the Broncos.

Newton has been a shell of himself for most of the past two seasons. First a shoulder injury, followed by surgery. Then a foot injury, followed by surgery that sabotaged his 2019 season and led to new Panthers coach Matt Rhule releasing him in April.

It is an incentive-laden deal worth up to $7.5 million and Newton will have all the incentive in the world to prove he can return an elite level and secure a monster free-agent contract for 2021 and beyond.

Here is what Giants cornerback James Bradberry told me in April about his former Panthers quarterback: “He’ll have a bigger chip on his shoulder than anybody in the league, I feel like. Everyone’s against him. I know he wants to prove all the doubters wrong.”

And remember this: Newton is only 31, or 12 years younger than Brady when (and if) the season begins.

And remember this: Belichick has always had a gift for getting the most out of talented players who fit one reason or another found their way to the open market.

Randy Moss was 30 when he and Brady led the Patriots to the brink of a perfect season before they ran into Eli Manning and the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Here was Belichick after re-signing Moss to a three-year, $27 million deal following that Super Bowl.

“What Randy did for our team last year was outstanding,” he said. “He is one of our most consistent, competitive and team-oriented players.”

The era of good feeling lasted three years before Belichick unloaded the mercurial Moss to the Vikings in 2010.

Belichick doesn’t have to worry beyond this season about Newton.

He’ll have to worry about losing a 2021 third-round pick and Bob Kraft will have to worry about the club being fined $1.1 million for their latest videotaping scandal, from the press box in Cincinnati, of all places.

A grotesque reminder that Belichick simply cannot help himself.

On a night when he helped himself immensely for 2020.

Sorry, Adam Gase. Sorry, Jets. Sorry, Bills.

The Dynasty you all thought was dead, ain’t dead yet.

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