Bedard: Why did the Patriots sign Cam Newton now, and what does it say about Jarrett Stidham?

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There are many lingering questions about Cam Newton's signing with the Patriots, and we'll be tackling those over the next couple of days. After doing some reporting in the least 36 hours, let's start with the timing of the deal, and then move onto what this may or may not say about Jarrett Stidham's future.

Why sign Newton now and not three months ago?

This a popular one, and the conspiracy theories also touch on Stidham — Did Bill Belichick not like Stidham's wedding trip to Texas while Tom Brady is working out in Tampa?! — and also the Bengals' taping punishment.

The simple answer: