New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers

What the Patriots signing Cam Newton means for Steelers

The Patriots signed Cam Newton, and suddenly the dynasty isn’t over just yet.

When the New England Patriots lost Tom Brady this offseason, the rest of the AFC took a much-needed sigh of relief.

Brady and the Patriots had dominated their division and conference for the better part of two decades, and finally gave way to the Chiefs in an unofficial changing of the guard when Kansas City won the Super Bowl last February. Or at least that’s what we wanted to believe.

On Sunday, the Patriots signed former MVP Cam Newton, who will compete for the starting quarterback job. Such a move impacts most of New England’s direct competition on a case-by-case basis, and the Steelers are no exception.

How does the Patriots signing Cam Newton impact the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Pittsburgh is impacted in two direct ways, most importantly as direct competition for a potential Wild Card spot next season.

The new NFL postseason format adds a Wild Card spot, and with Baltimore in their way for an AFC North crown, and a resurgent Browns squad also in their path, it’s tough to see Pittsburgh grabbing one of the top four spots, even with a healthy Ben Roethlisberger.

The Patriots have the ammo to win the AFC East, but Buffalo remain the favorites should they build off a playoff appearance in 2019.

The long-term impact of Newton’s decision is that the Steelers still don’t have a true replacement for Roethlisberger on the roster. Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges won’t cut it. Big Ben, who is oft-injured and 38 years old, doesn’t have a lot of time left.

Newton, who would’ve spent at least a year behind Roethlisberger, has a similar play-style to Roethlisberger in the constraints of the pocket, but offers more mobility at just 31 years old.

After weeks of deliberation, the Patriots emerged as Cam’s only real suitor. The Steelers may come to regret that decision.

Next: These Cam Newton contract details will make you hate the New England Patriots even more

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