The Carolina Panthers released Newton on March 24, ending their nine-year relationship with the quarterback they drafted No. 1 overall in 2011.
Newton now will step into the mix to try to help replace former Patriots QB Tom Brady, who left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency.
The New England Patriots seemed resigned to a quarterback competition between journeyman Brian Hoyer and 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham. Because of National Football League regulations put in place for the COVID-19 crisis, team medical staffs haven't had the opportunity to examine Newton to gauge his recovery.
After starting his career as a top quarterback, Newton has slowed down as of late, suffering from shoulder and foot injuries. He also was named the NFL MVP for his efforts during the 2015 season. However, he was playing at a high level as recently as the first half of the 2018 season before his throwing shoulder was re-injured against the Steelers. As a mobile quarterback, his style of play will be new for the Pats who have been led by Tom Brady for the last 20 seasons.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group.