League sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Sunday that Newton and the Patriots reached an agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal. According to NFL Media, the three-time Pro Bowl selection can earn up to $7.5 million.
The Panthers released Newton on March 24, ending his nine-year tenure with the franchise that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011. Carolina parted ways with him after agreeing to a contract with former New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Newton — who continues to rehab from foot surgery — remained a free agent after his release due to tryout restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. According to ESPN, he underwent a physical in Atlanta on March 23 that was coordinated by the Panthers and his representatives.
Newton, 31, passed the physical and is now healthy, according to ESPN. He missed 14 games last season with a Lisfranc injury and the last two games of the 2018 campaign because of a shoulder ailment that also needed surgery.
The Patriots faced questions about their quarterback situation after the departure of superstar signal-caller Tom Brady, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a two-year deal this off-season after spending two decades in New England. The organization didn’t select a quarterback in April’s NFL Draft.
Newton will enter the mix to help replace Brady. The Patriots also have Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in their quarterback room.
Newton, who holds most of the Panthers’ career passing records, has passed for 29,041 yards with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions in his career. He also has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 touchdowns.