Former league MVP Cam Newton put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the New England Patriots yesterday, ending a longer than expected off-season saga.
Newton signs a $7.5 million prove-it deal, which is a low risk, high reward situation for the Patriots. If he stays healthy, beats out Jarret Stidham, and is a success then New England has their Brady replacement. If not, then they haven’t given up much in return.
Why didn’t the Bears try to sign Cam Newton?
When you compare the acquisition of Newton to Nick Foles then you can understand why some Bears fans are unhappy. New England have signed a proven franchise QB for buttons, while Chicago traded a 4th round pick and committed to a contract that included $21 million guaranteed, in exchange for a so-so starter.
While the evidence would suggest otherwise, I believe that the Chicago Bears made the correct decision in signing Foles over Newton.
Firstly, Newton is coming off of surgeries to his shoulder and foot and teams have little idea of what to expect from him physically. Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, teams were unable to have their own doctors and trainers evaluate his health. This is what put off the 31 other teams from making the leap the Patriots did.
Also related to the current pandemic is the uncertainty over how much of an offseason teams will have to evaluate new players and for them to pick up the playbook thoroughly. Foles has an advantage here due to his familiarity not only with the offensive system but also with Matt Nagy and his offensive staff.
If Mitch Trubisky does not work out this season, then the Bears needed a genuine alternative with scheme familiarity and without injury concerns who could step into the fold immediately and make an impact.
Only time will tell if signing Foles over Newton – or any other QB for that matter – was the best way to go for Chicago. The ideal scenario for the Bears is that Trubisky figures it all out and becomes the player the Bears drafted him to be in 2017. If that happens, then this debate will matter no more.