The New England Patriots hit it big when they signed Stephon Gilmore in free agency during the 2017 offseason. After a strong tenure with the Bills, the corner ascended to even higher heights, earning first-team All-Pro honors for the past two seasons, was just named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and was a key figure in New England's Super Bowl LIII win, the first title of his career. By almost every measure, inking Gilmore to his $65 million deal has been a slam dunk.
"It was a great signing," Gilmore told The Bakari Sellers Podcast when asked about New England bringing in Newton. "I think Cam's very hungry. I've always been a Cam fan. I think he's hard to prepare against, and he has a great opportunity to compete for a starting job, and I'm looking forward to seeing him on our team."
The former league MVP will now compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting job in New England, but, as long as Newton is healthy, he is by far the most talented of the bunch, which should give him the edge. His overall talent should also open up the playbook a bit more for Josh McDaniels, now that he has a more mobile quarterback than Tom Brady, who just departed this offseason to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"I think he's his own unique player," Gilmore said of Newton. "Obviously, he can run the ball. He can throw it. Anytime you can do both of those things, it's hard to get ready for a certain thing, so he always keeps you off guard. He's very hungry this year. I think he's healthy now, so I'm just looking forward to him helping our team out."
Newton missed the bulk of last season due to a Lisfranc fracture and has dealt with shoulder problems prior to that. If he's back to full strength, however, the Patriots are getting a former league MVP on the cheap, inking just a one-year deal at minimum cost. The quarterback has shown off his health on social media throughout various points this offseason and even recently talked about how motivated he is to prove doubters wrong during a roundtable discussion with Odell Beckham Jr. and other athletes.
Pairing that type of talent under center with Gilmore and a Patriots defense that ranked No. 1 in the league last season now gives New England a chance to continue their unparalleled success even in the absence of Brady, which would unquestionably be music to the reigning DPOY's ears.