NFL Blew it With Patriots Punishment Thanks to Cam Newton

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton
New England Patriots QB Cam Newton / Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Two significant NFL bombshells dropped on Sunday night seemingly out of nowhere as several reports confirmed that free agent Cam Newton agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Shortly thereafter, ESPN insider Adam Schefter disclosed the punishment for the Pats' filming scandal from this past season.

Should the three-time Pro Bowler leave New England as a free agent after the upcoming campaign, the team could recoup a compensatory third-round pick in 2022, which would obviously help weather the blow from it being forced to forfeit a 2021 third-rounder as part of their discipline.

We all know that Bill Belichick is a mastermind when it comes to fleecing the NFL's rulebook, but he really outdid himself this time around. The Patriots potentially ending up not even losing any draft capital as a result of signing a quarterback that will allow them to compete is precisely why football fans were so excited to see them take a step back this year.

When the dust settles, New England could end up forking over just $1.1 million and the rights of its TV crew to film games in 2020. That's an atrocity when you consider what the organization was accused of.

Just when you think the Patriots were going to be an afterthought in the AFC playoff picture, they land a former MVP and bend a loophole in their favor. It's like they never left.