Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Three-time Pro Bowler Cam Newton will be the New England Patriots' starting quarterback and one of the team's captains this season.
League sources told ESPN, NFL Media and the Boston Globe that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick informed players that Newton will officially be the team's starter during a meeting Thursday, filling the void created by the departure of star quarterback Tom Brady this past off-season.
Brady, who spent 20 seasons in New England and won six Super Bowls, signed a two-year, $50 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March.
Belichick's decision came after Newton was voted as one of three offensive captains by Patriots players. The team confirmed Newton's captaincy in a statement posted Thursday on social media.
The Patriots' other offensive captains are veteran running back James White and center David Andrews.
After being released by the Panthers, Newton agreed to join the Patriots on June 28. He officially signed his contract July 8.
The Panthers selected Newton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback spent nine seasons in Carolina but only appeared in two games during his final year with the Panthers because of a Lisfranc injury.
The 2015 NFL MVP also sat out the last two games of the 2018 campaign due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
In 125 career games with the Panthers, Newton completed 59.6% of his passes for 29,041 yards with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions. He added 934 carries for 4,806 yards and 58 scores on the ground.