5 Patriots who Cam Newton will help the most

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Sony Michel, New England Patriots
FOXBOROUGH, MA – DECEMBER 29: Sony Michel #26 of the New England Patriots carries the ball during the third quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

2. Sony Michel

Michel was in line to get a ton of carries with Stidham under center, but he was also going to see a ton of eight-man fronts. Newton’s ability to stretch the field vertically with his arm and horizontally with his legs should open up a lot of running room for New England’s ground game.

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That room is crucial to create the sort of creases Michel needs to succeed. He excels when he’s given the ability to be a one-cut runner. That doesn’t give his offensive line a ton of time to set their blocks and open up gaping holes.

The mere threat of Newton tucking the ball and running on a couple of occasions during each game should give Michel the breathing room he needs to be an efficient starting running back. That will require the former Georgia star to drastically improve on last season’s rushing average of just 3.7 yards per carry.

Newton’s willingness to take chances down the field should also keep safeties sitting back in the final third of the field. That gives Michel a chance to build up speed before he’s required to evade a hard-hitting safety. Michel was going to struggle to be effective with Stidham at quarterback. Newton’s arrival gives him a chance to get his career back on track.