AFC East HC doubts Newton starts Week 1, says Patriots 'love' Stidham
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While the New England Patriots' chances of retaining the AFC East crown arguably increased with the signing of Cam Newton, a rival head coach isn't convinced the quarterback will ultimately win the starting job.

"I think they are going to keep three QBs. Use Cam Newton perhaps as the wild card," the unnamed AFC East coach told ESPN's Dianna Russini. "I actually don't see him starting Week 1 in the offense ... I know one thing for a fact: The Patriots love Jarrett Stidham."

Prior to signing Newton, Bil Belichick and Co. were seemingly prepared to enter the season with Stidham, a 2019 fourth-rounder, and journeyman Brian Hoyer at quarterback.

The Patriots reportedly haven't guaranteed Newton the starting role, though he's widely expected to earn it if healthy. The 2015 NFL MVP has just over two months to master the Patriots' playbook, which is notoriously complex.

New England has won 17 of the last 19 AFC East titles, including the last 11. But with Tom Brady leaving in free agency for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it appeared that the 2020 season would be the best opportunity for the rest of the division to end the Patriots' run of dominance.

The six-time Super Bowl champions are now tied atop the divisional oddsboard with the Buffalo Bills, who challenged New England for the AFC East title last season.

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AFC East HC doubts Newton starts Week 1, says Patriots 'love' Stidham
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