Cam Newton is widely expected to be under center for the New England Patriots' season opener against the Miami Dolphins in September. But head coach Bill Belichick isn't just going to hand the starting job to the former NFL MVP as the Patriots get training camp underway.
"That spot's the same as all the other spots on the team," Belichick said Friday, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. "We've got a long way to go, and we'll see how things turn out. I can't control how players perform. That's up to them. We'll give everybody an opportunity and see what happens."
Newton's free-agent market was apparently weak, and New England took advantage and landed a far more talented potential replacement for Tom Brady at a discount price.
Newton reportedly inked an incentive-laden, one-year contract worth up to $7.5 million. The former Carolina Panthers star was apparently only guaranteed $550,000 of his $1.05-million base salary.
"Things worked out," Belichick said. "We spent quite a bit of time with Cam, and he spent quite a bit of time with us. I think it was a mutual interest. We (spoke to) quite a ... number of different people and had a number of different conversations just trying to see how the fit would be. It was very positive on our end, and I'm glad it worked out."