It wasn't too long ago that Cam Newton was a 31-year-old quarterback with an injury history looking for an NFL job.
Now, the New England Patriots' new signal-caller is positioned to outplay the greatest quarterback of all time.
That's how much the Newton hype train has picked up steam since he signed with the Patriots in early July.
Without any preseason games to see how his foot is holding up after December 2019 surgery, many NFL "experts" and fans have envisioned a best-case scenario for Newton working alongside Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels.
For ESPN's Max Kellerman, that means Newton will have a better season for the Patriots than Tom Brady will with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"He's gonna make lemonade out of lemons on this team because Cam can do that when he's at his best," Kellerman said. "And there's good reason to believe he'll be better than ever by the middle or late part of this season.
"Cam just might be entering his prime while Tom Brady is on the decline. Cam's gonna have the better year."
That's a hot take considering Brady is surrounded by a glut of talent, from wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to tight end Rob Gronkowski to running backs Ronald Jones II, LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette. Newton, meanwhile, has Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, James White and ... N'Keal Harry?"
Patriots fans know how Kellerman feels about Brady, but Kellerman pointed to Newton's 2015 NFL MVP season as evidence that the three-time Pro Bowler can be a better QB when fully healthy.
"Cam Newton, right in the middle of Tom Brady's prime, was voted by his peers as the best player in football," Kellerman said. " ... Cam Newton was the man, meaning it's in there. He's capable of that if he's healthy. He's now playing for Bill Belichick at a time when Tom Brady is in decline year over year."
So, what's the ceiling for Newton this season? Kellerman's colleague, Domonique Foxworth dropped this bomb on "Get Up!" host Mike Greenberg on Thursday:
Yup: Foxworth believes Newton has another MVP season in him.
Not everyone is so bullish on the ninth-year QB -- Boomer Esiason believes the Patriots would be lucky to finish .500 with Newton this season -- and concerns about his injury history and inconsistent play are legitimate.
But there's a strong contingent of media members and fans who expect Superman to return in 2020.