Each day during the sports pause stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, NESN.com will publish a diary full of random thoughts, opinions, takeaways, and other cool tidbits we’ve stumbled across in the absence of actual games. Because why not? We’re all in this together.
Sunday night felt like any other normal Sunday night — beginning to wind down, planning out the week ahead and catching up on any news I may have missed throughout the day.
And then all of a sudden it wasn’t like any other normal Sunday night.
News broke that Cam Newton reportedly agreed to a one-year, “incentive-laden” deal with the New England Patriots. The news sent my Twitter timeline into a slew of mixed emotions — some loving the deal, others not so much while some weren’t sure how to feel.
I, admittedly, was one of those people who was unsure of how to feel about the reported signing. But honestly, you can’t really go wrong with this deal.
It’s a low-risk, high-reward. A healthy (and mobile) Newton could be a major threat for the Patriots offense. And if he can pull a Kurt Warner, the Patriots may be in better shape with Newton as the starter than second-year QB Jarrett Stidham.
It’s also “incentive-laden.” And, in my opinion, I feel that only will motivate Newton more as he’ll have to perform to reach those incentives. If he doesn’t, well then he won’t get whatever those incentives may be.
But more than that, Newton has a lot of experience. He has postseason and Super Bowl experience (yes, he didn’t dive for the ball in Super Bowl 50, let’s move on), something the younger Stidham doesn’t have.
Of course, it’s health that has recently impacted Newton, as he’s played in just 16 games over his last two seasons. But his recent videos on Instagram (and his new video he posted to his YouTube channel Monday), show he’s been putting in serious work.
It’s obvious Newton is working hard and doing all he can to make sure he’s in game shape and prepared to be the best he can be for his new team. Plus, it might be beneficial to have Josh McDaniels on his side and Twitter seems to agree.
However, it’s not set in stone the 31-year-old will lead New England out of the tunnel on Week 1 as the starting QB. Newton still needs to beat out Stidham — who was the expected No. 1 once Tom Brady announced he was leaving in March — and Brian Hoyer.
What’s the worst that can happen? Newton backs up Stidham? Newton starts, has a few bad games and watches Stidham or Hoyer take over? At the end of the day, it’s a one-year deal. It’s a deal Newton can use to build a solid comeback season and ultimately earn a heftier contract in 2021.
Newton was the 2015 MVP and an absolute stud during his days at Auburn. I’m not convinced he’s washed up at 31 years old. I’ve been wrong before, though. And hey, we all know Bill Belichick won’t be afraid to cut Newton during training camp or the season should things not be going well.
So, really, it’s hard to go wrong with this deal.
Super Bowl back on? Maybe, maybe not. But the 2020 Patriots just got a tad more interesting.
Let’s check out what else came out of Monday’s news cycle:
— Bruce Cassidy’s message certainly will get Bruins fans amped up.
Boston’s head coach held a Zoom call Monday and said the “unfinished business is to be Stanley Cup champions.” The Bruins, as I’m sure you know by now, lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues at TD Garden.
Boston was on fire when the NHL paused its season in March and looked destined to lock up that No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Division. But now the B’s will play in a round-robin tournament to determine seeding.
A motivated, hungry Bruins team certainly won’t be easy to get past, though.
— The Brooklyn Nets could be without two more players for the NBA’s restart next month.
Both Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan announced they tested positive for COVID-19. Jordan revealed he will opt out of the season, while Dinwiddie is considering doing the same.
— Ron Roenicke is ready to begin his first year as Red Sox manager.
The Boston skipper revealed Monday he’s “not that concerned” about managing during the pandemic. Roenicke is 63, so he’s technically not high-risk to contract the coronavirus. He revealed it’s made him uncomfortable, but thinks Major League Baseball is taking all the necessary precautions to begin the season safely.
The Red Sox also reportedly will open their season at Fenway Park.
— Speaking of beginning the MLB season, the league announced some new rule changes.
There will be 60 games (20 interleague bouts), a universal designated hitter and a runner will begin on second base during extra-inning games, to name a few.
I’m so ready for baseball to come back. My excitement really is through the roof.
— Jacoby Brissett really, really did not want to be drafted by New England.
The Indianapolis Colts quarterback revealed he didn’t even save McDaniels’ number after his visits. Brissett’s tune changed once he put on the Patriots uniform, but he certainly has one hell of a story to tell about the 2016 NFL Draft.
Tweet Of The Day
*insert eye ball emoji*
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) June 29, 2020
Stat Of The Day
Randy Johnson was a beast on the mound.
On this date in 2004, Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks became the fourth pitcher to record 4,000 strikeouts when he struck out the Padres’ Jeff Cirillo. pic.twitter.com/0VgHlylIay
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 29, 2020
Video Of The Day
This is so awesome.
— MLB (@MLB) June 30, 2020