Cam Newton and Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton

For the first time in over 20 years, the New England Patriots have a new quarterback under center. With Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, the Patriots pivoted and signed Cam Newton to a one-year, incentive-laden contract. Newton spent the vast majority of the 2019 season on the injured reserve and currently has +450 odds of winning Comeback Player of the Year. He has good odds of winning said award, and bettors can up to if they want to test those odds.

Can Cam Newton Win Comeback Player of the Year?

As of this posting, Newton’s +450 odds are third-best in the league, behind just Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski. Both players have +350 odds to win it, so there isn’t a drastic difference between Newton and Gronkowski/Roethlisberger.

While Newton doesn’t have the highest payout, he is in a favorable situation to win the award. For one, he’s a quarterback. Awards like this are heavily narrative-driven, and the media loves to talk about quarterbacks. Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck won in 2019 and 2018, respectively, and their position had a lot to do with their eventual success.

Adding to the narrative fuel is Newton effectively taking over for Tom Brady. Brady and head coach Bill Belichick terrorized defenses together for years on end, and everyone will want to see what happens when Belichick no longer has Brady. The media will absolutely eat it up if Newton’s able to step in and lead New England to a winning season.

The Case Against Roethlisberger, Gronkowski

I’m honestly shocked that Roethlisberger has better odds of winning Comeback Player of the Year than Cam Newton. While Newton has his share of injuries, all of his ailments are relatively normal. Foot and shoulder injuries heal in time, so one can reasonably expect him to return to his old form.

The same cannot be said for Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger is quite literally in uncharted territory, as he needs to come back from a devastating throwing elbow injury at the ripe age of 38. This injury usually takes baseball pitchers over a full calendar year for full recovery, and Roethlisberger suffered his injury in September of 2019. It’s not that he can’t come back and play like his old self, just that the odds are not in his favor.

Gronkowski, like Newton, has plenty of attention and doesn’t need to return to his old self in order to take home this award. However, he’ll probably need to put up a top-five season at the position if he’s going to win the award. Frankly, it’s hard to see that happening in Tampa Bay’s offense. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin will lead the team in targets, meaning that Gronkowski will probably be an afterthought in the passing attack. Historically, receivers and tight ends need great seasons in order to win Comeback Player or the Year, and Gronkowski probably won’t have the target share to pull that off. Overall, Cam Newton has the best combination of odds and situation, and is the safest bet to win Comeback Player of the Year.

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