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The Panthers are hiring Matt Rhule as their new HC, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reports. Rhule has been a hot name in coaching circles after he led a 1-11 Baylor team in his first season to a combined 18-9 record over the past 2 years. He spent 4 seasons as Temple's HC prior to that and also has 1 year of experience as the Giants' assistant offensive line coach under Tom Coughlin. Rhule's Baylor squads ranked 25th, 19th and 43rd in the nation in passing yards per game.

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Patriots QB Cam Newton is expected to handle a "full complement of reps" at minicamp this week, according the The Boston Globe's Jim McBride. Newton suffered a bone bruise to the right hand at OTAs a couple of weeks ago, but it's obviously not a concern. Early reports out of New England have Newton a strong favorite to open the season as the starter, ahead of 1st-round rookie QB Mac Jones.

Patriots QB Cam Newton suffered a "slight bone bruise" to his right hand when he banged it on a helmet at OTAs on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "Not considered major at all," Rapoport adds. But Newton might not hit the practice field again until training camp. That'll give 1st-round rookie QB Mac Jones a chance to build some momentum.

The 1-year deal QB Cam Newton recently agreed to with the Patriots falls well short of being clear starter money. Newton starts out at $5.1 million for the coming season. That number rises to $6.6 million if he starts all year, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss, and $8.6 million if he starts and the Pats reach the playoffs. With all incentives, the contract could climb as high as $13.6 million. Rather than committing to Newton as the 2021 starter, though, the Patriots appear to be committing to him as QB insurance. We'll see whether competition comes via the draft. Newton's deal does suggest that New England likely won't sign another big-name QB in free agency (or trade) -- but certainly doesn't rule out that option. Treat Newton as the likeliest Patriots starter in best-ball drafts for now.

QB Cam Newton and the Patriots have agreed to a new 1-year deal, according to The Boston Globe's Jim McBride. Newton was a major disappointment with New England last season, averaging just 177 passing yards and less than half a passing score across 15 games. In his defense, he dealt with COVID in the middle of the season and had very little to work with as far as pass-catching weapons. We'll see what the Patriots do to address that 2nd issue over the next couple of months. Newton at least remained a threat with his legs last year, racking up 592 yards and 12 TDs on the ground. This move shouldn't preclude the Pats from taking a QB in the 1st round of next month's draft.

Patriots QB Cam Newton was benched in the 4th quarter of Thursday night's loss to the Rams, finishing with 119 scoreless yards and a pick-6 on 9-of-16 passing. HC Bill Belichick said afterwards, though, that Newton remains the starter going forward. Frankly, the Pats don't have a better option. While Newton's arm isn't what it used to be, New England's lack of weapons is the much bigger problem Cam has now fallen short of 120 passing yards in 3 straight games and 4 of his last 5. Only his rushing ability makes him a QB2 the rest of the way.

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