When Tom Brady left the New England Patriots in free agency earlier this year, he created an enormous opening within the team’s starting lineup — one that has now reportedly been filled: as first reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, head coach Bill Belichick informed the team at a meeting on Thursday morning that Cam Newton has been named as the Patriots’ new starting quarterback.
Newton winning the starting gig does not come as a surprise. While the long-time Carolina Panthers starter and former league MVP only arrived in New England in July, he developed nicely over the course of training camp while competing against second-year man Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer. By the end of the first week of full-pads practices, Newton started to distance himself from Stidham and Hoyer and has not looked back since.
With Newton now officially named as their starter, the Patriots can take the next step in their preparation for the regular season opener against the Miami Dolphins on September 13. Stidham and Hoyer, meanwhile, will compete for the second and third spots on the depth chart — even though it seems likely that both will be kept to offer additional bodies alongside Brady’s heir.
On top of being named as the New England’s next starting QB, Newton was also voted as a captain by his teammates per the Boston Globe’s Andrew Callahan. The first-year Patriot is therefore also taking over another one of Brady’s former roles in New England.