Ben Roethlisberger is banged up heading into Week 3, and Stephen A. Smith believes there is an obvious insurance policy sitting out there for the Pittsburgh Steelers that they have yet to capitalize on.
During Thursday’s edition of ESPN’s “First Take,” Smith said he is baffled that the Steelers have not yet reached out to Cam Newton.
“He can run with the football. Granted, he’s not as mobile as he used to be, but he’s considerably more mobile than Ben Roethlisberger and he’s younger,” Smith said. “So the combination of those two, with Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins as your options, why hasn’t Cam been called already? That’s how I’m looking at it.”
Newton remains a free agent after he was released by the New England Patriots prior to Week 1. As Smith mentioned, the Steelers already have Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins on their roster. Haskins was said to have impressed the team during training camp, but head coach Mike Tomlin had a harsh assessment of him after the final preseason game.
Roethlisberger has played through numerous injuries during his career, and he will likely try to do the same with his pectoral muscle injury.
Newton may not even want to sign with the Steelers if Roethlisberger is going to play. Unless he has an opportunity to start, Newton doesn’t have much financial incentive to play this season.
Cam Newton opened up about the end of his time with the New England Patriots in a video he released on Friday, and one of the topics he discussed was his recent violation of COVID-19 protocols.
Newton missed several valuable days of practice time leading up to New England’s third and final preseason game after what the team called a “misunderstanding” with COVID protocols. In his “Freaky Friday” sit-down chat with his father, Newton said he believes the Patriots were going to release him even if he didn’t miss that time but that it likely made their decision easier.
As for the so-called misunderstanding, Newton said he went to Atlanta for a consult related to the foot surgery he had two years ago. He felt “bamboozled” after being told he had to sit out when the Patriots led him to believe he did everything right. Newton said the Patriots even encouraged the trip and told him it was a “great idea.”
Newton is unvaccinated, which is why he had to sit out for several days. There was a report that his vaccination status was a factor in New England releasing him, but Bill Belichick has shot that down.
Like Newton said, missing those days probably did not cost him his job. It did, however, give Mac Jones even more of an opportunity to prove himself.
Many people were surprised that the New England Patriots released Cam Newton rather than keeping him as their No. 2 quarterback behind Mac Jones, but the former NFL MVP thinks the team would have viewed him as a distraction if he stayed.
Newton discussed his final days with the Patriots during his highly anticipated “Freaky Friday” video. During the sit-down with his father Cecil, Newton said the Patriots felt he would have been a “distraction” as a backup QB.
“The reason they released me is because, indirectly, I was gonna be a distraction,” Newton said.
The 32-year-old also hinted that he did not feel he was given a fair shot to earn the starting job. Newton believes the Patriots knew they would have been able to win with him, which would have made it tougher for them to turn things over to Jones at some point. For what it’s worth, he thinks they will win with the rookie, too.
Newton emphatically denied the claim that Jones was teaching him the playbook this offseason. He said he, Jones, Brian Hoyer and Josh McDaniels were always consulting one another about the offense, which is normal for any team. He also said that he believes the Patriots would have released him regardless of his COVID vaccine status, though he admitted missing several days of practice didn’t help his cause.
Had the Patriots wanted to keep Newton as a backup, he says he would have told them “absolutely.” You can hear more of his comments below:
Newton’s rationale about why he lost the starting job doesn’t make much since. If Bill Belichick believed Newton gave the Patriots a better chance to win, he would have gladly had Jones spend time holding a clipboard. There’s no reason to believe the Patriots made a concerted effort to rush a rookie quarterback into action. Just ask Peyton Manning how difficult it is to play the position in the NFL as a rookie. Jones was simply better than Newton during training camp and in the preseason.
As for his playing future, Newton said his career is not over. He is, however, looking forward to spending time with his family. Newton believes he is still good enough to start in the NFL, but there is one big reason he may not play this year.
Cam Newton has been teasing the release of a segment in which he will likely open up about his time with the New England Patriots and where his NFL career currently stands. A promo clip that was posted on Thursday provides a strong hint into the former MVP’s mindset.
Newton’s production company, Iconic Saga Productions, posted a teaser clip from a segment that is called “Funky Friday.” In the video, Newton says he does not believe there are 32 quarterbacks in the NFL who are better than him.
“I’m gonna remove all doubt. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — it’s not 32 guys out there that’s better than me, bruh,” Newton said. “Let’s be honest.”
As Newton mentioned, he made similar remarks back in February before the Patriots re-signed him.
It’s no surprise that Newton remains confident, but the entire NFL obviously views things differently from him. If you remember, the Patriots signed Newton late in the 2020 offseason after every team passed on him. They were the only ones to offer him an opportunity to start. Newton then had an abysmal season, but Bill Belichick decided to bring him back. Newton’s tenure in New England ended when he was beat out by rookie Mac Jones.
There have been some unflattering reports about Newton since the Patriots cut him. He will likely address those on Friday, but we can already see what the theme of the segment will be.
Cam Newton appears to have something to say about his release from the New England Patriots.
The veteran quarterback, who was cut by the Patriots last week, said in a new Instagram video that he has a lot to say and is absolutely not retiring. He hinted at more to come on Friday.
“I have a lot of things that I need to get off my chest. This is not a retirement speech and I have a lot of football still in me,” Newton says in the video.
It’s not clear what Newton plans to address, but there has been much said about him since his release. Some of it has been particularly unflattering, which may be what prompts a response.
Newton’s NFL future is unclear. The 32-year-old definitely doesn’t want to retire, but it sounds like he may be waiting a while to land with a new team.
Much has been made of Cam Newton’s release by the New England Patriots, and the lack of interest from other teams in light of that. In reality, it sounds like the biggest factor is simply that Newton isn’t the player he once was in the eyes of NFL teams.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, one experienced NFL evaluator said Newton’s history of injuries is scaring teams off. In addition, teams simply don’t believe Newton is throwing the ball well based on what was seen in recent games and preseason.
That source disputed some of the more damaging rumors, such as one about Newton’s struggles learning the playbook. This was written off as some ex-Patriots having a hard time with Newton replacing Tom Brady, and using other issues as a distraction from the fact that the unvaccinated Newton failed to comply with NFL protocols.
Newton is unlikely to sign with a team before the season, it appears. Few teams are hunting for a starting quarterback, and there are questions about Newton even being at that level. Between his vaccination status and decline as a player, he might have to wait for an injury.
Former New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich shared a story recently that is quite unflattering for Cam Newton.
On a recent edition of “The Dan and Ninko Show,” Ninkovich said he’d been told by “inside sources” that rookie quarterback Mac Jones had been helping Newton learn the playbook, as the rookie had a better understanding of it than Newton did.
“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said. “Mac was having less mental errors and having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute (drill), we didn’t see him run any no-huddle. You have to run no-huddle. That’s vital.”
If true, it adds further context behind why the Patriots opted to go with Jones instead of Newton for 2021. It’s clear that New England’s players are fully behind Jones, and that would make sense if he simply understood the offense better.
For Newton, regardless of the missed practices and other issues, a rookie shouldn’t be ahead of a veteran on this, especially when the veteran was on the team in 2020 as well. If other teams hear about this and believe it, it’s only going to further hinder his already weak free agent market.
Cam Newton was released by the New England Patriots this week, and it does not sound like there has been much interest in the former MVP.
There was initially a report that the Dallas Cowboys had discussed signing Newton as a backup. The Cowboys all but admitted publicly that they are set at the position, and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said that means Newton is unlikely to sign anywhere before the season.
As Rapoport explained, some teams may be concerned about signing a former star to be a backup.
Even if teams were interested in Newton, he might prefer to wait until next offseason. The way his contract was structured with the Patriots gives him some financial incentive to not play.
The Patriots were the only team that offered Newton a chance to start last season. He had an abysmal year, though many blamed it on New England’s lack poor roster and his limited time in the system. Newton was then beat out by rookie Mac Jones and released. We doubt teams are excited about the potential of adding him.
Cam Newton was released by the New England Patriots earlier this week, and it remains to be seen if he will have an opportunity to play in 2021. Depending on the circumstances, the former NFL MVP may not want one.
Newton collected a $2 million signing bonus with the Patriots, and his $1.5 million salary is also guaranteed. The deal includes offsets for New England, which means they have to make up the difference if Newton signs for less elsewhere. As Ross Tucker noted on Wednesday, the veteran minimum salary is $1.075 million.
So, unless a team is willing to pay Newton more than $1.5 million, he essentially has no financial incentive to play. He will be collecting a minimum of $1.5 million no matter what happens. He would probably sign with a team for the minimum if he had an opportunity to start, but he’s unlikely to get an offer like that unless there is an injury to a team’s starter.
The Patriots were the only team that offered Newton a chance to start last season. He had an abysmal year, though many blamed it on New England’s lack poor roster and his limited time in the system. Newton was then beat out by rookie Mac Jones and released.
We know of one team that reportedly entertained the idea of signing Newton as a backup, but he may decide to simply wait until next offseason given the situation.
It doesn’t sound like we should necessarily expect Cam Newton to find a new team anytime soon after he was released by the New England Patriots.
In an appearance on “SportsCenter” Wednesday, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that it didn’t seem likely that Newton would attract much interest, noting that the quarterback went unsigned for three months last offseason. Darlington added that any interested teams would likely see Newton as a backup option.
“There’s not a lot of teams right now that are necessarily all that interested in bringing on Newton at all,” Darlington said.
Darlington also pointed out that Newton’s unvaccinated status could work against him, even as a backup. Under NFL protocols, unvaccinated close contacts to positive tests are out five days. Darlington points out that if a vaccinated starting quarterback were to test positive for COVID, the backup would almost certainly be ruled a close contact. In other words, Newton would be out for five days, meaning having him as a backup in that situation would be effectively useless to teams.
There have been reports that Newton’s unvaccinated status was a factor in his release, though the Patriots have strongly denied this in public. That said, the protocols being what they are, there’s no way the Patriots didn’t consider the scenario Darlington outlined and, may have come to the conclusion that Newton wouldn’t even be reliable as a backup option.
Newton didn’t show a great deal on the field in 2020 either, throwing eight interceptions and only seven touchdowns in 15 starts. Those aren’t numbers that are going to have any team eagerly pursuing the 32-year-old.