Cam Newton

Patriots Calling On Every QB, Newton Wants To Return

The quarterback carousel has already seen some crazy shuffling, and we’re only just getting started on this offseason. There are plenty of teams out there still looking to make a move, including the Patriots.

New England was a big disappointment on offense last year, and it sounds like Bill Belichick is leaving no stone unturned as he pursues possible upgrades at the game’s most important position. To that end, the Pats “have had conversations regarding every potential trade target in the league,” sources told Jeff Howe of The Athletic. We know they were briefly involved in Matthew Stafford talks, and this would seem to indicate they’ve at least called about guys like Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold, and potentially others such as Marcus Mariota, Jimmy Garoppolo, or even Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson.

Howe writes bluntly that “if a quarterback has been perceived to be available, the Patriots have picked up the phone.” Howe thinks Belichick is taking a purposefully patient approach to avoid overpaying and to see if the asking price on a veteran he’s interested in goes down once the market starts to dry up.

As for the incumbent starter, impending free agent Cam Newton, Howe writes that the team hasn’t “ruled out” bringing him back for another year. For his part, it sounds like the former MVP would love to return.

On a recent episode of the ‘I Am Athlete’ podcast, Newton said “hell yes” when asked if he would go back to New England, via Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). Newton says he’s “getting tired of changing” and is at a point in his career where he wants continuity. He emphasized that he already knows a lot more about the system than he did last year, and that all the receivers are now more comfortable with him.

When he was asked if there was a chance of him playing for the Pats in 2021, he said “there’s always a chance for everything,” but said “I can’t say that” when asked if he had been talking with the franchise.

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Patriots’ Cam Newton Won’t Wait To Sign

Cam Newton is on track for free agency in the spring. This time around, the Patriots quarterback tells Greg Hill of WEEI that he doesn’t want to wait until the summer to sign a deal. 

That’s definitely going to go into consideration,” Newton said (Twitter link via’s Mike Reiss). “I’m not going to wait in the latter part of another season when I have the opportunity to do something or sign with someone.”

Though no decision has been made, the Patriots are not expected to re-sign Newton. Newton threw for just five touchdowns against ten interceptions, resulting in an NFL-low 78.9 quarterback rating. The Patriots expected more from the former MVP, and they missed the playoffs for the first time in a long time.

Newton may still hold appeal for other teams, given his potential and the dearth of talent at the QB position. Plus, he’s shown he can still be effective with his feet, having rushed 126 times for 513 yards (4.1 YPC average) and 12 TDs. He also stayed healthy – no small feat, given his pre-Patriots history.

No matter where he lands, the 31-year-old has every intention of starting.

If you are asking me, Do I want to be a backup? Hell no!,” Newton said. “When I look at other teams, and I’m looking at other players play, there have been guys that have been getting away with murder for years because of subpar play. Do I have the right to say that with the year I had this year? No. But I’m going to be honest and say it because that’s what I do.”

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Patriots Not Expected To Re-Sign Cam Newton

Cam Newton and the Patriots are expected to part ways after the season, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday NFL Countdown this morning (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk). This jibes with a report from Mike Reiss of last month.

These rumors are hardly surprising. The 2020 season has mostly been a struggle for Newton and the Patriots, who will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Newton has thrown for just five TDs against 10 interceptions, and his 78.9 quarterback rating is among the league’s worst.

The good news is that he has shown he can still be an effective runner, having rushed 126 times for 513 yards (good for a 4.1 YPC average) and 12 scores. Plus, he has managed to stay healthy this season after concerns about his injury history forced him to accept a below-market deal with the Pats in late June.

Newton’s trip to free agency last offseason was delayed because the Panthers waited to release him until they explored trade options, and COVID-19 protocols at the time did not permit interested teams to evaluate him for awhile. He will have a better chance at securing a favorable deal this offseason, but his poor passing performance will limit his market.

The former MVP would certainly have fared better with a more talented set of receivers surrounding him, but it would still be surprising to see a team sign him and give him a starting job outright. Instead, he will probably be brought aboard by a club that wants to have him compete for a starting role.

The Patriots, meanwhile, will still have Jarrett Stidham under contract in 2021, but they are likely to bring in an established veteran or use a high draft choice on a rookie passer.

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Cam Newton To Remain Patriots’ QB

After picking up back-to-back wins to keep themselves in the AFC playoff picture, the Patriots were pummeled by the Rams in last night’s primetime affair. With New England trailing 24-3 in the fourth quarter, head coach Bill Belichick pulled starting QB Cam Newton in favor of Jarrett Stidham. But even though the loss effectively torpedoed the Pats’ postseason hopes, Belichick is not benching Newton.

When asked about his quarterback situation after the game, the future Hall of Fame HC said, “Great question. Really glad you asked that. Cam’s our quarterback” (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe).

Newton, 31, signed a very modest one-year pact with the Patriots in late June. Though he has shown flashes of his old self, particularly as a runner, the 2020 campaign has largely been a struggle. Over 12 games, he has thrown for just 2,172 yards and five TDs against 10 interceptions, good for a 78.9 quarterback rating. On the plus side, he has maintained a 4.0 yards-per-carry average over 113 rushing attempts and has found paydirt 11 times on the ground.

He has certainly not had a world-class contingent of skill position talent to work with, and he has been dealing with an abdomen injury that certainly could have impacted his performance in last night’s game (to his credit, Newton denied that his poor play was due to injury). Still, it might make sense for New England to at least give Stidham, a second-year passer who looked as though he would be the club’s starting quarterback before the Newton signing, a chance to show what he can do with a full week of first-team practice reps and an offensive scheme more tailored to his skillset.

Belichick, though, will continue rolling with the 2015 league MVP, whose market value probably won’t be much higher in 2021 than it was in 2020. And as Mike Reiss of said this morning, Newton is unlikely to be back with the Patriots next season, even if the team wanted to re-sign him (video link).

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AFC East Notes: Patriots, Newton, Jets

Midway through an up-and-down year with the Patriots, does Cam Newton want to return in 2021? The quarterback claims that he hasn’t given it much thought.

Man, I have interest in winning the Arizona Cardinals game. How about that?” Newton told WEEI (via NBC Sports). “There are so many things that — I don’t want to even harp, dwell, or even think – as the Bible says, my cup runneth over. Just trying to focus on the near future rather than the far future.”

Newton has led the Pats to wins over the Dolphins, Raiders, and Ravens this year, but he also has seven interceptions across nine games. All in all, he’s 4-5 as the Patriots’ starter. The Patriots haven’t missed the playoffs since 2008, and they’ll be in rough shape if Newton can’t deliver against the Cardinals this weekend.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Patriots had Stephon Gilmore back on the field against the Texans. The reason for his three-game absence? Gilmore says his knee injury occurred was caused by a collision in practice (via’s Mike Reiss). Fortunately, it looks like he’s healed up significantly, though his presence wasn’t enough for the Pats to win on Sunday.
  • The Jets are expected to do some defensive demolition this offseason, according to’s Rich Cimini. In fact, GM Joe Douglas could wind up with seven new starters — safeties Marcus Maye and Bradley McDougald; cornerbacks Pierre Desir and Brian Poole; and linebackers Tarell Basham, Jordan Jenkins, and Neville Hewitt are all ticketed for free agency. Maye is the best of the bunch, but the Jets have flirted with trading him in the past. Defensive lineman Henry Anderson is also on the chopping block, thanks to his $9.5MM cap figure for 2021.
  • Douglas will be in charge of the roster, but it’s not clear whether owner Woody Johnson or CEO Christopher Johnson will be running the show. As Cimini notes, Woody may be free to return from his ambassador role in January.
  • The Dolphins benched Tua Tagovailoa against the Broncos, but the star rookie will continue to start ahead of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Patriots Notes: Gilmore, Newton, Edelman

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is usually tight-lipped when it comes to, well, just about everything, but he was quite candid in discussing his team’s struggles this season. The 2-4 Pats are in the midst of their first three-game losing streak since 2002, and Belichick suggested that one of his club’s goals in 2020 was to get right with the salary cap after years of heavy investments.

“This is kind of the year that we’ve taken to, I would say, adjust our cap from the spending that we’ve had in accumulation of prior years,” Belichick said (via Mike Reiss of “We just haven’t been able to have the kind of depth on our roster that we’ve had in some other years.”

In addition to their league-leading eight COVID-19 opt-outs, the Pats are carrying about $26MM of dead cap charges this season, and as Reiss indicated back in March, the club’s financial picture in 2021 is much brighter. New England may be taking its lumps in 2020, but it is still lurking in the AFC East and is eyeing a major rebound next year.

Now for more out of Foxborough:

  • Stephon Gilmore‘s name has come up in trade rumors, but Reiss says the Pats are not actively shopping their star corner, which is consistent with what we heard several days ago. However, the ESPN scribe suggests that Belichick could be willing to listen if a rival club were to offer a first- or second-round draft choice. Assuming that does not happen, then Gilmore is likely to finish out the season with New England. The two sides would need to address his contract situation at that point, as Gilmore is under club control through 2021 and will be seeking a healthy extension.
  • As of this writing, the Patriots have not done much to suggest that they will be sellers at this week’s trade deadline, but if they fall to the division-rival Bills today, that could change, as Adam Schefter of confirms.
  • QB Cam Newton was benched in a blowout loss to the 49ers last week, and though the time he missed due to COVID-19 certainly could explain his recent struggles, the Pats are still alarmed by the number of mistakes he’s making, per Jay Glazer of FOX Sports (video link). While Newton’s job is not in imminent danger, he could lose the starting gig if he does not turn it around soon.
  • New England’s WR depth chart, which is already quite thin, took another hit when Julian Edelman was placed on IR with a knee injury. Belichick said he expects the veteran pass catcher to be back this season, but several people close to Edelman have their doubts, per Ian Rapoport of (video link). Edelman’s knee has been bothering him for awhile, and although his recent surgery helped alleviate some discomfort, the knee is still bone-on-bone. The Pats could save $4MM against the cap by moving on from the 34-year-old at season’s end, and one wonders if he might have played his last game for New England.
  • In an effort to bolster their WR group, the Pats plan to have veteran wideout Donte Moncrief come in for a workout, per Reiss (via Twitter). The former third-rounder has generally struggled to live up to expectations in his career, and he was recently released off the Jets’ practice squad. Given Gang Green’s own receiver issues, that’s not a good sign, but Moncrief is only 27 and still possesses plenty of physical tools.
  • In addition to Moncrief, the Pats are also bringing in fellow WR Darius Jennings and DT Ryan Glasgow, according to Reiss. Albert Breer of says the team recently hosted FB Roosevelt Nix (Twitter link).

Extra Points: Newton, Gase, Thomas

The Patriots took an ugly loss Sunday as they got demolished 33-6 by the visiting 49ers. Things got so bad that Jarrett Stidham came in and replaced Cam Newton somewhat early in the fourth quarter and played the rest of the game. Newton had just 98 yards and three interceptions before exiting, but he isn’t in any danger of losing his starting job at the moment. Head coach Bill Belichick said after the game that Newton was “absolutely” still his starter.

He added that he just wanted to get the youngster Stidham some more game experience by throwing him out there in a contest that was already decided. Newton now has five interceptions and no passing touchdowns over his past two games since returning from catching COVID-19. It’s unclear whether the virus messed with his conditioning or if anything else is ailing him, but his play has dropped off dramatically from his hot start as a member of the Patriots. Whatever the case, it doesn’t sound like Belichick is planning on making a switch under center anytime soon.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Adam Gase first conceded publicly that he was mulling giving up play-calling duties a couple of weeks ago, and he finally made the plunge on Sunday. Gase handed off the responsibilities to offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains for their Week 7 game against the Bills, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports. New York got off to a hot start and they actually led Buffalo at halftime, before completely collapsing and only gaining four total yards in the second half. The last 30 minutes may have changed Gase’s mind, and he said after the game that play-calling will be a week to week decision. He also insisted the decision to give it up was his and his alone.
  • Major waves were made last week when we heard that the Saints could potentially be open to trading Michael Thomas in the wake of his antics that got him suspended for one game for fighting a teammate in practice, but it doesn’t sound like New Orleans’ leadership is seriously considering the idea. Head coach Sean Payton immediately responded to a tweet about the report, mocking the idea that actual ‘insiders’ said any such thing (link via Katherine Terrell of the Athletic). While Thomas probably won’t be dealt he is still hurt, and now Adam Schefter of reports that there’s a good chance Thomas isn’t ready for Week 8 against the Bears due to his hamstring injury. Thomas tweaked his hamstring while working his way back from the high ankle sprain he suffered back in Week 1. With Emmanuel Sanders on the COVID-19 list, the Saints could be without each of their top two wideouts still when they go up against a tough Chicago defense next week.
  • After rookie Sam Sloman has looked quite shaky to start the year, the Rams went out and signed kicker Kai Forbath earlier this week. But since Forbath wasn’t able to enter the facility until today due to COVID-19 protocols, he won’t be the kicker for their Monday Night Football game against the Bears. That means Sloman will have at least one more chance to prove he deserves the job. Under the bright lights of a nationally televised game with his competition breathing down his neck, the pressure will certainly be on.

Patriots Activate Cam Newton Off Reserve/COVID-19 List

3:49pm: Newton is on track to be back this week. The Patriots activated their QB1 from their reserve/COVID-19 list.

2:59pm: The Patriots seeing their Week 5 game against the Broncos delayed to Week 6 may well allow them to have their starting quarterback on the field. Cam Newton is expected to practice Thursday, Field Yates of tweets.

Newton learned Oct. 3 he tested positive for COVID-19, shelving him for Week 4 and delaying that Patriots-Chiefs game a day. The Pats then saw All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore and practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray test positive. Another positive test prompted the NFL to move the Pats’ Week 5 game, which would have featured Jarrett Stidham starting for New England.

The Pats will only have two days of full practices this week; they will not return to work until Thursday. Newton had yet to test negative for two straight days, a requirement to return to practice, as of Sunday morning. The new Patriots quarterback has navigated that part of the protocol and will be back in uniform. Newton was believed to be asymptomatic.

Prior to his coronavirus-induced hiatus, Newton had rewarded the Pats on their offseason move. Despite arriving in late June, Newton helped the Pats to two wins, had completed 68% of his passes and averaged 49.1 rushing yards per game. The Patriots only needing to play one game without Newton would obviously be a boon to their chances at returning to the playoffs, though the former MVP will also need to stay healthy — something he has not done since his 2015 MVP season — to maximize his new team’s chances at securing postseason entry for the 12th straight season.

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Patriots, Titans Close Facilities Again; Pats-Broncos Rescheduled

12:17pm: We have an update on Cam Newton to pass along. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Newton has yet to return the two consecutive negative tests required to return to action (video link). But now that the Pats’ game against the Broncos has been pushed to next week, he will have more time to get right.

10:37am: Assuming the Titans are able to play on Tuesday, the Broncos and Patriots will indeed play each other next Sunday, as Schefter tweets. The Broncos and Chargers will then play each other in Week 8, which was supposed to be when Denver had its bye, and the Dolphins will now play the Broncos in Week 11. However, the Jaguars have now been impacted by this mess, as they were supposed to play the Broncos in Week 8. So there is still more rearranging to be done.

08:35am: The Patriots had one new positive COVID-19 test this morning, as Adam Schefter of reports (via Twitter). It was a player who tested positive, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says that player was starting DT Byron Cowart. The team’s facility has been shut down again, more testing is being done, and Cowart will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list today.

Meanwhile, the Titans released a statement indicating that a coach tested positive. Their facility has been shut down as well, but as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reports, that coach hasn’t been in the building for nearly two weeks (video link). As such, his positive test might be unrelated to the outbreak that has plagued the team, and contact tracing is being done as we speak.

New England and Tennessee just returned to their facilities yesterday after two consecutive days of negative tests. The Pats’ game against the Broncos this week had been pushed to Monday, and the Titans’ contest against the Bills was rescheduled for Tuesday, but now the Broncos-Patriots matchup has been moved to next Sunday (Twitter link via Schefter). New England and Denver will have their byes this week, and the league will need to reschedule the Broncos-Dolphins game that was originally slated for next week.

We heard several days ago that new positive tests were expected on the Patriots and Titans given the results of contact tracing on both clubs. The league was clear that additional positives would not necessarily mean the cancellation of games, and initial reports this morning indicated that the NFL still planned to move forward with Broncos-Pats tomorrow (Twitter link via Schefter).

However, a decision needed to be made quickly given that the Broncos were scheduled to make a cross-country flight to Foxborough today. Plus, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston says the Pats were not going to let the league compel them to play, and that if players and coaches are uncomfortable, they will not play (Twitter link).

Given the on-going contact tracing taking place within the Tennessee organization, there is not yet an official word from the league as to the Titans-Bills game. Since the Titans have already lost their bye week, the NFL will presumably want to move forward with that contest. Even if that happens, though, it seems that a Week 18 for rescheduled games around the league is becoming more and more realistic.

As always, we will keep you updated as soon as we have more to pass along.

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Patriots, Titans Expected To Return To Team Facilities Today

Some good news out of New England and Tennessee.’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that there have been no positive tests for the Patriots nor Titans during their respective latest round of COVID-19 testing. As a result, both teams are planning on opening their facilities today.

The Titans had all negative tests for the second day in a row, meaning they could safely return to the practice field this morning. Over the past few weeks, the team has placed a dozen players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and their game against the Steelers last weekend was postponed indefinitely. This week’s contest against the Bills has been moved to Tuesday night.

The Patriots have also gone two days in a row without a positive test. The team’s expecting to hold a team practice this morning, and they’ll hold a walkthrough on Sunday in anticipation of their game against the Broncos on Monday. That game was moved from Sunday after star cornerback Stephon Gilmore tested positive earlier this week.

It’s been a week since Patriots quarterback Cam Newton tested positive, but it’s uncertain if he’ll see the field against Denver on Monday night. New England head coach Bill Belichick told reporters that he doesn’t expect Newton to practice today, noting that he’s taking the player’s status “day-by day” and “hour-by-hour.” If Newton can’t play, it’s expected that the Patriots will turn to second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham.

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