Tiki On Cam Newton Signing: "What The Hell Took So Long?"

Tiki Barber believes signing Cam Newton was a "necessary move" for the Patriots, but Brandon Tierney believes the AFC East is still Buffalo's to lose

Tiki and Tierney
June 29, 2020 - 6:24 pm
Cam Newton Panthers

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Cam Newton, a free agent for more than three months, signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots on Sunday. The incentive-laden deal is worth a maximum of $7.5 million.

Replacing a six-time Super Bowl champion is certainly not easy, but the Patriots could have done much worse than a former NFL MVP.

“They had to make this move,” Tiki Barber said on Tiki & Tierney. “With all of the free agents that were floating around this offseason, they had a real chance to diversify this offense a little bit, become a bit modern, let Josh McDaniels go to work in his mind coming up with different schemes that aren’t just dink-and-dunk and . . . play-action here and there with Tom Brady because of his limited athleticism. I think this was a necessary move, and my prevailing thought is what the hell took so long?”

Brandon Tierney has a theory.

“Well, what took so long is that Cam had to change his contract demands a little bit there, which is what happened,” Tierney said. “He lowered them significantly. It’s a one-year [deal], low salary with incentives. If he hits every incentive, it’s less than $8 million. That tells you that unless it was a pretty decent financial arrangement, which it obviously became, then the Pats weren’t incredibly motivated to go out there and get Cam Newton because he was out there for a long time.”

Carolina released Newton, 31, in March. He spent nine seasons with the Panthers, completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. He also ran for 4,806 yards and a quarterback-record 58 touchdowns. 

“It’s splashy; it’s interesting; it could provide some decent return,” Tierney said of the acquisition. “But I don’t think most people are overreacting to this because I think it would be contrary and counter to everything that we’ve watched the past couple of years.”

Newton has battled foot and shoulder injuries, among other ailments, in recent years, and it affected his play on the field. He has thrown 30 interceptions in his last 32 games and has averaged over 7.0 yards per attempt just once since 2015.

“Nobody knows where he is,” Tierney said. “When you strip away and you get to what’s underneath the hood of the car, yes, the talent is tantalizing; yes, it’s probably a smart, low-risk move; yes, the resume is there; yes, the the charisma [is there]. But this is still the Bills’ division to me.”

Barber doesn’t necessarily agree. He believes the Patriots are still the class of the AFC East, and he does not believe their dynasty is over, mainly because of Bill Belichick.

“If he can get to the playoffs, you know he’s going to out-gameplan you,” Barber said. “And so, I believe that this New England team is not done right now. It’s going to take a lot of hard work because they don’t have Tom Brady any longer, but it’s not like they have a slouch if Cam Newton is healthy. I think this team can get to the playoffs, and once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen.”