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As the New England Patriots’ presumptive starting quarterback, Cam Newton faces the difficult task of replacing six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady when the season begins this fall.
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Newton, 31, referred to the challenge as the “elephant in the room” as players prepare to report for training camp on July 28. He inherits an offense in transition following Brady’s 20-year stint in New England.
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“It’s like, you know who you’re coming after? I'm like, yeah, great. What he was, what he is, is great, needs no even talking about it," Newton said during a roundtable discussion on fellow NFL star Odell Beckham Jr.’s YouTube channel. "But one thing about it, though: [Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels], you’re able to call some stuff you ain’t ever been able to call now.”
Newton signed with the Patriots earlier this month after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Carolina Panthers. Brady, 42, left New England earlier this offseason to sign a two-year, $50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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A former NFL MVP in his own right, Newton has been open in recent days about his frustration with the free agency process. He drew little initial interest after the Panthers released him last March following a string of injury-plagued seasons.
Newton said he is looking forward to proving his doubters wrong with the Patriots this season.
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“I'm looking at the schedule and I'm like, 'Who we're playing? That team passed on me! OK, that team passed on me. They could've came and got me,’” Newton added.
Newton signed a one-year deal with a base salary of slightly more than $1 million. The contract is worth up to $7.5 million if Newton hits all of his performance-based incentives.
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