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#pounditSunday, October 17, 2021

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick says vaccination status played no role in Cam Newton decision

Bill Belichick

Many were shocked that the New England Patriots released Cam Newton this week, and one theory is that the quarterback’s decision to not get the COVID-19 vaccine played a role in the decision. As you might expect, Bill Belichick insists it did not.

Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley reported on Tuesday that Newton being unvaccinated was one of three main factors that led to him being cut. Belichick was asked about that when he met with the media on Wednesday, and the coach said it is untrue.

“No. You guys keep talking about that, and I would just point out that … the number of players and coaches and staff members that have been affected by COVID in this training camp who have been vaccinated is a pretty high number,” Belichick said, per Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “I wouldn’t lose sight of that.”

Belichick was then asked if he considered keeping Newton as a backup to Mac Jones.

“I’m not gonna go through all the different things with any player on that,” he said. “We’ll just leave it the way it is and go from there.”

Those responses are exactly what you would expect from Belichick. He never reveals his motivation behind roster moves other than “doing what’s best for the team.”

Newton missed several days of practice last week due to what the Patriots called a “misunderstanding” with COVID protocols. The team was reportedly frustrated with him over the situation. He then played poorly in Sunday’s preseason game against the New York Giants, and Jones played well.

It’s worth noting that Urban Meyer already got himself into trouble by admitting vaccination status was a consideration when making roster decisions. Belichick isn’t about to make the same mistake.

Report: Cam Newton being unvaccinated was factor in release

Cam Newton

Cam Newton was cut by the New England Patriots on Tuesday, as the team decided to move forward with rookie Mac Jones as their starting quarterback.

Numerous reasons have been given for the Patriots’ decision. One factor in New England’s decision reportedly was Cam’s vaccination status against COVID-19.

Pro Football Network’s Adam Beasley, who used to cover the Miami Dolphins, reports that the main factors were Cam’s uninspiring play, Jones’ emergence, and Cam being unvaccinated.

Interestingly, Beasley says that Newton’s vaccination stance “caused a bit of a stir behind the scenes.” Last week, Newton missed five days due to a testing misunderstanding. The team reportedly was frustrated with him over the situation.

It’s unclear whether that was the behind the scenes issue to which Beasley was referring, or if something else happened. But it sure seems like Newton’s choice did not help his cause. This is not the first time we have heard about vaccination statuses being a problem for teams.

Cowboys interested in Cam Newton as backup?

Cam Newton

Cam Newton is unlikely to draw interest as a starting quarterback in the wake of his release from the New England Patriots, but the market for him as a backup may already be taking shape.

The Dallas Cowboys are planning to explore the idea of signing Newton as a possible backup to Dak Prescott, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz reports. The Cowboys released quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci this week and currently have Cooper Rush as No. 2 on the depth chart. Rush has minimal experience, with just one career NFL completion.

Given Prescott’s injury history, it makes sense that the Cowboys would want to add a veteran backup before the start of the season. Prescott is fully recovered from the gruesome ankle injury he suffered last year, but he has also battled a shoulder issue in the preseason. There have been rumblings that the shoulder could bother Prescott all year, though the Cowboys have repeatedly insisted they are not concerned.

Newton signed with the Patriots last year after they were the only team to give him an opportunity to start. He then had an abysmal season in 2020, throwing for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The 31-year-old was beat out by rookie Mac Jones this summer.

If Newton wants to play this season, it will almost certainly have to be as a backup. He shared an optimistic message on social media after the Patriots cut him.

Cam Newton shares message on Instagram after Patriots release

Cam Newton hat

NFL fans were left stunned on Tuesday when the New England Patriots released Cam Newton, but the former MVP seems to be taking the tough news in stride.

Shortly after the Patriots informed him he has been cut, Newton shared an optimistic message on Instagram in his token font. He thanked fans for their support but said he does not need sympathy.

“I really appreciate all the love and support during this time but I must say … please don’t feel sorry for me!! #imGOOD,” Newton wrote.

Newton was beat out by rookie Mac Jones. While a lot of people were surprised the Patriots released him, the move makes sense. Newton was horrible last season, but Bill Belichick gave him a chance to show he had improved. Since Newton was not able to win a QB competition with a rookie, it is hardly a surprise that the Patriots don’t want him on the roster as a backup.

Jones outplayed Newton during the preseason. Newton then missed important practice time last week due to what the Patriots called a “misunderstanding” with the NFL’s COVID protocols. There was a report that people within the organization were frustrated with Newton over the situation.

Newton appeared to proclaim himself New England’s starting QB with an Instagram post prior to Sunday night’s preseason game against the New York Giants. He then went 2/5 for 10 yards and an interception in the Patriots’ 22-20 win. Jones went 10/14 for 156 yards and a touchdown. That likely sealed Newton’s fate.

Cam Newton released by Patriots as Mac Jones era begins

Cam Newton

The New England Patriots have decided to go with Mac Jones as their starting quarterback, and Cam Newton will not be the rookie’s backup.

Newton was released by the Patriots on Tuesday, as first reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. The move came as a shock to many, though it really isn’t one.

Jones outplayed Newton during the preseason. Newton then missed important practice time last week due to what the Patriots called a “misunderstanding” with the NFL’s COVID protocols. There was a report that people within the organization were frustrated with Newton over the situation. Jones played extremely well during joint practices with the New York Giants while Newton was out.

There was really no need for the Patriots to keep Newton as a backup, as they also have Brian Hoyer on their roster. The only way Newton was going to keep his roster spot was if he won the starting job, and the former MVP did not do that.

Newton appeared to proclaim himself New England’s starting QB with an Instagram post prior to Sunday night’s preseason game against the Giants. He then went 2/5 for 10 yards and an interception in the Patriots’ 22-20 win. Jones went 10/14 for 156 yards and a touchdown. That likely sealed Newton’s fate.

Cam Newton proclaims himself Patriots’ starting quarterback in Instagram post

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick might not be ready to name a starting quarterback on the New England Patriots, but that’s not stopping Cam Newton.

Newton posted on Instagram Sunday night ahead of his team’s preseason game. He included a graphic that pointed to his jersey number and said “QB#1.”

Is that Newton’s way of saying he is the “QB1” for the team, aka the starting quarterback? It seems so.

Newton went 2/5 for 10 yards and an interception in the Patriots’ 22-20 win over the New York Giants. Mac Jones, who is competing with Newton for the starting gig, went 10/14 for 156 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots were said to be frustrated with Cam last week, but we still expect him to get the starting job. He just needs to play well otherwise Jones might get the call at some point. At least based on this video, the two are getting along well.

Video: Cam Newton, Mac Jones had funny sideline moment

Mac Jones Cam Newton

Cam Newton and Mac Jones are battling for the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback position, but it seems the two are getting along fine despite that.

Both Newton and Jones appeared in Sunday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants. Jones outperformed Newton in the game, going 10-of-14 for 156 yards and a touchdown. Newton went just 2-for-5 for 10 yards with an interception.

Still, Newton was nothing but supportive of Jones, based on this amusing video the Patriots posted to Twitter.

Newton really wanted to get that high five in. Good for him.

Though Jones has clearly impressed his teammates, the consensus had been that Newton had the inside track to start. It remains to be seen if that remains the case, but either way, Newton looks like a good teammate here.

Scott Zolak thinks Cam Newton is distracted by rap music at practice

Cam Newton

Boston radio personality Scott Zolak thinks that the New England Patriots need to make a music change at practice to help Cam Newton.

Zolak, who played quarterback for the Patriots 1991-1998, is a co-host on “Zolak and Bertrand” on 98.5 “The Sports Hub” in Boston. He was live from Patriots training camp on Thursday and shared that he feels Newton is distracted by the rap music at practice.

“I’d turn off the rap music first of all, because I think it’s distracting for Cam here,” Zolak said on Thursday’s show. “Because in between every throw, he’s dancing. He makes a throw and the music’s still cranking.”

Zolak has been impressed by Patriots rookie quarterback Mac Jones, saying Jones “looks like he’s here to work.”

Zolak thinks the Patriots need to see what Newton does this week before deciding on who should be their Week 1 starter.

“I think it’s decision week. I think you need one more look at Cam.”

Newton returned to practice on Thursday after missing five days due to a COVID “misunderstanding.” The Patriots reportedly are frustrated with Newton over the matter, but he is still highly likely to begin the season as the team’s starting quarterback.

As for any changes to the sounds, removing the rap music might bother more than just Newton.

Report: Patriots frustrated with Cam Newton over COVID protocol situation

Cam Newton

Cam Newton will miss what many consider to be crucial practice time this week due to a violation of COVID-19 protocols, and there are reportedly some people within the New England Patriots organization who are not happy with the former NFL MVP.

The Patriots announced in a statement on Monday that Newton will have to sit out five days due to a “misunderstanding” with the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. The quarterback was away from the team on Saturday for a club-approved medical treatment, but he did not follow proper testing protocols. Newton, who is unvaccinated, missed a day of testing even though he got tested away from the Patriots’ facility and tested negative. Daily testing is required for unvaccinated players at an NFL-approved facility.

According to Michael Giardi of NFL Network, there is some internal frustration with the Patriots over the Newton situation. One member of the organization, whom Giardi described as “important,” believes Newton’s absence will open the door for rookie Mac Jones to win the starting quarterback job.

The Patriots said Newton’s out-of-state medical treatment was approved by the team, so they should have clearly communicated the protocols to him before he left. If they did not, that is just as much on the team as it is Newton. If they did, you can understand why they’d be unhappy with the veteran.

Jones will now likely get most — if not all — of the first-team reps in joint practices with the New York Giants this week. Belichick offered his latest thoughts on the Patriots’ QB competition on Monday, but that was before we knew about Newton being ruled out for several practices. Time will tell if the situation has a significant impact heading into Week 1.

Cam Newton out five days due to ‘misunderstanding’ with COVID protocols

Cam Newton

Cam Newton is competing with rookie Mac Jones for the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback job, but the former NFL MVP is going to miss some important reps in practice this week.

Newton has been ruled ineligible to practice for five days due to COVID-19 protocols. The Patriots announced the news in a statement on Monday and explained that Newton traveled out of the New England area on Saturday for a team-approved medical treatment. As the Patriots described it, there was a “misunderstanding” about COVID-19 tests that are conducted away from team facilities.

Here’s the full statement:

The NFL only restricts travel for unvaccinated players. Newton has been asked by reporters if he is vaccinated but said it is a personal issue that he does not want to speak about publicly. The 32-year-old missed some time last season after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Patriots are holding joint practices with the New York Giants this week. Mac Jones will likely get most — if not all — of the first team reps while Newton is out.

Bill Belichick has not yet named a starter for Week 1. The coach offered some thoughts on the competition on Monday.