Sports has been one of the sectors that has been hit the worst due to the coronavirus. Most major sporting events have had to be cancelled, suspended or postponed because of the ongoing pandemic. For example, this year’s Olympics, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, have had to be pushed back by a year, as did football’s European Championships as well. Wimbledon, probably the most iconic Grand Slam in tennis, was not held this year for the first time since the Second World War. This year’s Formula One season, which was slated to have a record-breaking year with the most races ever, is now less than half of its original size, with many circuits hosting races twice to make up the calendar. In such a scenario, it has not been surprising to see how online sports and esports have become popular amongst fans looking for some form of sports content. The likes of the FIFA and NBA2K games have become even more popular, with the NBA continuing its annual NBA2K draft competition, while the likes of La Liga and the Premier League hosted FIFA tournaments between players from their clubs, all to provide content for their fans during this time. This has been in line with the general trend which has seen online forms of entertainment grow extremely popular during this time, with even real money online casinos becoming quite popular amongst people stuck inside their homes. Nevertheless, the last few weeks have seen some sports return to action. Football has resumed across Europe, cricket is likely to follow suit, and in the USA, the NBA is also gearing up for resumption at the Disney world resort in Florida. The restart of sports will also be a big moment for Cam Newton, who will be able to resume his career, having signed a one-year deal with the Patriots.
Cam Newton was the 2015 MVP in the NFL, but has been dogged by poor form and horrendous injuries ever since. 2016 and 2017 saw very average performances from the quarterback, before recurring shoulder injuries put him out of action in 2018, and then a foot injury ruined 2019. Thus, he comes into this season looking for redemption and to prove that he still has the ability to be one of the best players in the league. He could not have picked a better team than the Patriots either, who have one of the most stable offensive lines in the league, and thus will give him all the support he needs to be able to play his natural game. The team’s defense is also coming off one of its best seasons ever. Now it is down to Newton to prove that he is healthy and that his troublesome shoulder can take the load of a full season in the NFL.
There is no doubt that Newton was one of the best players of his generation when he broke though, but there are now doubts about his body’s ability to carry him through the strain of the NFL. The only reason that the Patriots were able to pick him up was his injury issues; a fully-fit Newton would not have come so cheaply. He is reportedly on a heavily-incentivized base deal, with performances deciding the level of his final paycheck. However, it is illuminating that Tom Brady used to cost the Patriots almost double what a full payout for Newton will entail ($13.4 million vs $7.5 million at max), and shows just how far he has slid in terms of his market value while he was out injured for almost two seasons.
Nevertheless, this could be the move that could work out brilliantly for both parties – the Patriots looking for their next big star after Brady, and Newton attempting to make his way back to the top of the NFL table.