A not-so-blissful off-season for the New England Patriots got a shade better on Sunday night.
ESPN's Adam Scheffter reported that former league MVP Cam Newton is heading to Foxboro on a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
While I was never the biggest fan of the former Heisman Trophy winner - primarily because of the shady behavior exhibited by Newton's father during his time at Auburn - this is a signing that makes sense for the Pats, especially football wise.
New England's quarterback depth heading into training camp? Second-year man Jarrett Stidham and career backup Brian Hoyer. Not exactly the firepower needed to win track meets against Baltimore and Kansas City.
When he's healthy, Newton is one of the best quarterbacks in the game.
Not only is he big, he's athletic, has a gun for an arm, and has super pocket mobility.
And the Patriots need the presence of a former league MVP in their quarterback room, whether Newton is the starter come September or not.
Newton turned around a downtrodden Carolina Panthers franchise after he was drafted in 2011, and led the Panthers to a 15-1 season en route to Super Bowl 50 in 2015. You could argue that if that season's AFC Championship Game was in Foxboro instead of Denver, the Panthers and Patriots could've played a high-scoring shootout.
You can say what you want about his attitude, but Bill Belichick has shaped up guys like Corey Dillion and Randy Moss, the latter you could argue is the most talented receiver to ever play the game.
Is Stidham the Pats' QB of the future? Probably. Does he need competition in camp and this season to continue his development? Absolutely. And this low-risk, high-reward move will allow that to happen.
Either way, the AFC East remains the Patriots to lose. If Newton can stay healthy and take care of the ball, the Patriots can certainly win 12 games again. A healthy offensive line in front of him is not a bad thing, either.
If you're a Patriots fan, embrace this signing. Newton has always been a high-class guy who did remarkable things in Charlotte on and off the field. Injuries have been his bug-a-boo the last few years. He's an intelligent guy who should grasp the complicated Pats playbook rather quickly.
Stidham will be better because of this too, having gotten a chance to work with the Greatest Of All Time last season and with a former MVP this season.