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New England Patriots sign QB Cam Newton to replace Tom Brady

The 2015 NFL MVP missed all but two games with the Panthers in 2019 due to a foot injury he suffered in the preseason.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Months after being released by the Carolina Panthers, it seems Cam Newton has committed to another team.

The New England Patriots have reached an agreement with free-agent quarterback Newton, bringing in the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player to help the team move on from three-time MVP Tom Brady, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The one-year deal is worth up to $7.5 million with incentives, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly. A Patriots spokesman said the team had nothing to announce Sunday night.

The signing was first reported by ESPN.

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The 2015 NFL MVP missed all but two games with the Panthers in 2019 due to a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. Newton aggravated that injury while trying to play through the pain and missed the final 14 games of a dismal campaign for Carolina. 

Newton, who turned 31 last month, left the Panthers with his name all over the team's record book and as the NFL's all-time leader for quarterback rushing touchdowns. He was drafted first overall in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn University, and this was the first time in his career as a free agent. 

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The Patriots had been heading to training camp with 2019 fourth-round draft choice Jarrett Stidham as the heir apparent to Brady, who led the team to six Super Bowl championships since 2001 but signed with Tampa Bay this offseason. Stidham appeared in three games last season, completing two passes for 14 yards with one interception.

The only other experienced quarterback on the defending AFC East champions' roster was 34-year-old Brian Hoyer, who has started 38 games in an 11-year career with seven NFL teams, including the Patriots twice.

The Panthers released Newton on March 24 following nine seasons, a move that saved the team $19.1 million under the NFL salary cap.

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Newton was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft after leading Auburn to a national championship and winning the Heisman Trophy. He helped the Panthers reach the playoffs four times, including the Super Bowl in 2015.

Monday, Newton posted on his Twitter saying he was excited, confirming the news with the hasthag #LetsGoPats. 

Then later Monday, Newton posted a vlog to YouTube titled "Farewell Carolina, Hello New England" — marking the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. 

The Associated Press, including AP Sports Writer Jimmy Golen and AP Sports Writer Steve Reed, contributed to this report. 

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