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NBC Sports 13 September, 2021 - 12:28am 3 views

Why did the Patriots Release Cam Newton?

“The reason why they released me, is because indirectly I would have been a distraction,” Newton said. “Just my aura [would have been a distraction] . . . that's my gift and my curse.” When asked by his father what was next: Newton focused on family. Pats PulpitCam Newton opens up following his release from the Patriots

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Cam Newton does NOT believe Patriots cut him because he's unvaccinated

Daily Mail 13 September, 2021 - 08:10am

By Reuters and Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For

Free agent quarterback Cam Newton disagrees with speculation that the New England Patriots cut him over his refusal to get vaccinated, instead claiming that he was released because his 'aura' would be distracting to rookie starter Mac Jones.  

'This had nothing to do with no vaccination,' Newton said during a 45-minute YouTube Live video to his father, Cecil, at his former Atlanta-area high school. 

Earlier in the interview with Cecil, Newton said he was willing to be a backup to Jones, a first-round pick out of Alabama, but that he believes the team saw him as a potential distraction. 

'The reason why they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction, without being a starter,' Newton said. 'Just my aura. That's my gift and my curse.'

Free agent quarterback Cam Newton disagrees with speculation that the New England Patriots cut him over his refusal to get vaccinated, but rather believes he was released because his 'aura' would be distracting to rookie starter Mac Jones 

Newton pictured warming up before a preseason game on August 12 with Mac Jones (right)

Newton has been criticized for dancing to rap music during practice by former Patriots quarterback and Boston sports media personality Scott Zolak, who later apologized for the remark. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner also admitted he was 'absolutely' surprised to be released by coach Bill Belichick.  

The 32-year-old Newton recently missed five days due to a COVID-19 protocol violation when he made a trip that the team described on August 26 as a 'club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area.'

'Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam was subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility,' read the statement. 

Cam Newton (right) also admitted he was 'absolutely' surprised to be released by Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (left) 

Vaccinated NFL players are no longer subject to strict COVID-19 protocols, such as mandatory five-day quarantines. There had been speculation in the media that Newton's refusal to get vaccinated hurt his standing within the team and made him undesirable as a backup behind Jones. 

However, Newton does not believe his recent five-game absence had anything to do with the decision. Instead, Newton said he would have been released regardless.

'During that time, I started seeing signs of change,' Newton said. .'.. Do I think this would have happened without me being away from the team for five days? Honestly, yes. It was going to happen. Did it help ease the decision? Yes.'

Newton said he 'absolutely' would have accepted a backup role behind Mac Jones, however he questioned whether the rookie first-round pick would have been comfortable with that situation.

'Let me be honest with you. If they would have asked me, ''Cam, we're going to give the team to Mac, you're going to be second-string; we expect you to be everything and some to guide him throughout this tenure,'' I would have said, ''Absolutely,'' Newton said. 'But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable.'

Belichick has also denied that the decision to release Newton had anything to do with his vaccination status.  

Detroit Free Press assistant sports editor Andrew Hammond suggested Newton was 'two vaccine shots away from having just about everybody at his door'

Newton signed a reported one-year, $5 million contact with the team in March after going 7-8 as a starter in 2020 while throwing more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight). 

However, he leaves New England with only his $1.5 million base salary and a $2 million signing bonus, which are subject to offsets if he signs elsewhere, according to Pro Football Talk. The Patriots saved at least $1.5 million with the move, but did incur a $3.6 million salary cap penalty, limiting their ability to sign other free agents.

Interestingly, Newton could feasibly re-sign with the Patriots at a lower price if he fails to draw interest as a free agent. His agent did not immediately respond to's request for comment.

Another reason for Newton's exit may have been the progress of Jones, a first-round pick out of Alabama who completed 69 percent (36 of 52) of his preseason passes for 389 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Newton signed a reported one-year, $5 million deal with the Patriots in March after going 7-8 last season as New England's starter while tossing more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (eight). However, only his $1.5 million base salary is guaranteed.

ESPN's Charly Arnolt weighed in on the subject, suggesting that the vaccine was the culprit

He did not complain about his release on social media, and pleaded with fans that he's going to be fine.

'I really appreciate all the love and support during this time, but I must say please don't feel sorry for me!! #imGOOD,' Newton posted on Instagram Tuesday.

Belichick also expressed his own doubt about the vaccine to reporters on September 1.

'Your implication that the vaccination solves every problem...has not been substantiated,' he said, as quoted by NFL Network's Michael Giardi. 'The number of players and coaches and staff members who have been infected with COVID after being vaccinated is a pretty high number. I wouldn't lose sight of that.'

Currently over 92 percent of NFL players and more than 99 percent of team staff are vaccinated, according to the league.

However, some vocal holdouts have criticized the NFL for refusing to to loosen COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players.  

Newton said Friday morning in a 45-minute YouTube Live video with his father, Cecil, that he was willing to be a backup to rookie starter Mac Jones

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Voice of the Fan: There's A New Sheriff In Town, And It's Not Mac Jones 13 September, 2021 - 08:10am

For the second straight week, oddsmakers quickly shifted a betting line in the direction of the University of Toledo football team.

The Rockets (1-1), who lost 32-29 at Notre Dame after the then-No. 8 Fighting Irish drove the length of the field in the final two minutes, were installed by the FanDuel Sportsbook as 13-point home favorites against Colorado State (0-2) for Saturday’s 4 p.m. game at the Glass Bowl (TV: ESPNU). The line has since shifted to 13½ points, with an over/under of 58.

A week ago, Toledo opened as an 18½-point underdog against Notre Dame. That betting line quickly shifted in the Rockets’ direction, and by Saturday morning UT was just a 16½-point underdog.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has seen movement on its betting line as it prepares to face in-state rival Purdue (2-0) for the first time in seven years. The Irish (2-0) opened as an 8½-point favorite for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. home game (TV: NBC), but the line has since narrowed to 7½. The over/under is 59.

Following the near-upset against Toledo, Notre Dame dropped four spots to No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25. Toledo picked up two votes in the poll.

Both Ohio State and Michigan open as heavy favorites this week.

Coming off its 35-28 home loss to Oregon that dropped the Buckeyes from third to ninth in the AP poll, Ohio State (1-1) is a 27-point home favorite against Tulsa (0-2). The over/under is 60½ for the 3:30 p.m. game Saturday (TV: FS1).

Michigan (2-0), a 31-10 winner over Washington, is a 27-point home favorite against Northern Illinois (1-1). The over/under is 55 for the noon kickoff Saturday (TV: BTN), with the Wolverines joining the Top 25 this week in the No. 25 spot.

FanDuel did not post a line on Bowling Green’s home game with FCS member Murray State. The Falcons (0-2) host the Racers (1-1) at 5 p.m. at Doyt Perry Stadium (Streaming: ESPN3).

Alabama and Georgia retain the top two spots in the AP poll. Oklahoma climbed a spot to third, while Oregon jumped eight spots to fourth. Iowa jumped five spots to fifth following its victory over Iowa State.

Among teams of regional interest, Cincinnati is eighth (down from seventh), Penn State is 10th (up from 11th), Iowa State is 14th (down from ninth), and Wisconsin is 18th (unchanged).

NFL Notebook: New era dawns for Patriots, but will it be a successful one? 13 September, 2021 - 08:10am

The greatest role models in the world? Emma Raducanu and her fellow teenagers

TheGrio 13 September, 2021 - 07:31am

When this happened on Sunday, he told me: “Everyone’s talking about Emma Raducanu.” I knew she had won the US Open already because we had had a late night. I would have known anyway; the build up to the match had a fairytale quality. She was so young and her potential victory so laden with significance – the first British woman to win a grand slam singles title since Virginia Wade, 44 years ago – that it had taken on an air of inevitability, at least to those of us who didn’t have to do anything but watch.

Opinion the morning after was divided four ways. One part was triumph over the likes of Piers Morgan and John McEnroe, who had had quite a bit to say about the 18-year-old’s ability to handle pressure over the summer, when she dropped out of Wimbledon during her last-16 match after becoming breathless.

It is peculiar the appeal this pastime holds for a certain kind of middle-aged man, making unkind assertions about the character of a prominent young woman – almost as though her magnificence were a scam that only a straight-talking chap could unmask. Raducanu didn’t need to win a grand slam for Morgan to look like a fool, but it was fun to watch the two collide.

One part was pointing out that this was the reality of migration and identity – nobody is more British, or has been more patriotically celebrated, than Raducanu, who was born in Canada to a Romanian father and a Chinese mother, is fluent in Mandarin and arrived in Kent aged two. The screenwriter Dominic Minghella took this idea to its logical conclusion: “You can celebrate your Raducanus or you can push back boats. You can’t do both.”

The final part was pausing to reflect that Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, also still in her teens, was as gracious in defeat as Raducanu was in victory. And also open and generous. And also incredibly good at tennis.

It’s hard to admire people this young without a twang of discomfort: they are role-modelling qualities to the world – strength under pressure, maturity, humility – that the middle aged and beyond should have nailed down. In a way, it’s easier when it’s all about sport, the natural arena for them to best their forebears. Even so, it’s hard not to notice the person underneath the sports kit and be chastened by a maturity and discipline we are long past expecting from adults in public life.

When their athleticism won’t unshackle from their moral compass or self-awareness – in the case of the older but still surprisingly young Marcus Rashford, say, or Simone Biles – they throw the norms of the world of the grownups into harsher relief. When their pitch is the future of the planet – as with Greta Thunberg – it’s even more shaming to older adults. She made her voice so powerful even when she was far from power’s orbit, while millions of us who had more influence failed to use it.

That is probably what provokes those now-regular tantrums the old commentariat have about the young – a fair amount of guilt and inadequacy, which wouldn’t necessarily be misplaced in any of us, even though very few of us should feel bad about never winning a grand slam.

For the rest of us, it’s hard to be sour when we are cheering our heads off. This is the perfect antidote to the confected clash between generations: a country bursting with pride for Raducanu, who did as much for optimism as she did for tennis.

"Did being released by the Patriots catch me by surprise? Absolutely": Cam Newton was shocked Bill Belichick didn’t take a chance on him for the 2021 NFL season | The SportsRush

USA TODAY 12 September, 2021 - 12:52am

Hours ahead of the roster cut deadline, the Patriots released QB Cam Newton, with all signs pointing towards rookie Mac Jones taking the starting job.

Breaking: The Patriots have released QB Cam Newton, as first reported by The Boston Globe and confirmed by @AdamSchefter.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 31, 2021

The 32-year-old former MVP has always been vocal and expressive of his feelings. And he dropped a 43-minute video on Friday morning to discuss the past couple months with the Patriots, while being interviewed by his father, Cecil.

NFL players, coaches, fans and analysts all were caught of guard by the former MVP being released. And Newton himself detailed his last day as a Patriots.

“Did it catch me by surprise, being released? Absolutely,” Newton said, after being asked the question by his father.

“I’ve been playing long enough to have got it remotely two years ago with the Panthers, but I never really got that call where, ‘Hey, come to the office,’ ” Newton said. “It was funny, as a matter of fact, to me. I’m laughing at it now. I walked in, and they were like, ‘Oh, hold up, Cam, Cam, Cam. Bill wants to meet with you.’ I’m like, ‘OK, cool.’ But Bill’s office is down here, and they were like, ‘No, he’s in here.’ And that’s when I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, I see what’s going on.’

“When it happened, we went through the meeting, Matt Patricia was there, Bill was there. We greeted each other, and we just started talking. At that time, they told me that they were going to give the reins to Mac, and I was like, ‘OK, cool.’ And it didn’t dawn on me. I was like, ‘Y’all releasing me?’ I was confused, because Bill was — we all were shocked. It was uncomfortable for everybody.”

Some notable quotes from Cam Newton’s weekly “Funky Friday” video:

“Did it catch me by surprise be being released?”

“Absolutely.”#Patriots | #ForeverNE | #NFL

— Jason Pombo (@JasonPombo) September 10, 2021

Cam Newton is definitely capable of being a QB in the NFL. But he makes a serious point. QBs like Mitchell Trubisky, Will Grier and Tyrod Taylor were all scooped up almost immediately after their release. Sam Darnold, who led his former Jets team to a 2-10 record with just nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions this past season, is set to start for Newton’s former Carolina Panthers team in 2021.

It should be interesting if any team can pick up the 2015 MVP in the upcoming weeks.

"How can Mac Jones teach me the playbook?": Cam Newton blasts Rob Ninkovich for saying he was being coached by the rookie QB. | The SportsRush

The Sportsrush 12 September, 2021 - 12:51am

Hours ahead of the roster cut deadline, the Patriots released QB Cam Newton, with all signs pointing towards rookie Mac Jones taking the starting job.

Breaking: The Patriots have released QB Cam Newton, as first reported by The Boston Globe and confirmed by @AdamSchefter.

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 31, 2021

According to former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, rookie quarterback Mac Jones had to help Newton learn the team’s playbook.

“I got some inside sources now, and I won’t say names, but from what I gained from sources inside the actual building… Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said. “Mac was having less mental errors and a better understanding of the offense.”

The 32-year-old former MVP has always been vocal and expressive of his feelings. And he dropped a 43-minute video on Friday morning to discuss the past couple months with the Patriots, while being interviewed by his father, Cecil.

While being asked about Rob Ninkovich and his report by his father, Newton replied with grace.

“No,” Newton Said. “How can he teach me?”

He did admit the playbook was slightly different than anything he’s been used to, but that didn’t mean Jones was teaching him it.

“Nah. If anything, I was — I was like, ‘Josh, it’s so new to me.’ I’ve never been in a system that required me to know where the Mike (linebacker) is, to know the front, to identify certain fronts and XYZ,” Newton said. “You can’t say that that’s stupid or ‘Why wouldn’t you know that?’ because half of the NFL — I would say 30 teams out of 32 teams don’t run this philosophy.”

“It’s in the center’s call, because they control the protection, and if you have any type of red flag or an alert, then that’s when you kind of (say), ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey, Lucy this. Ricky to 50.’ You know what I’m saying? Something like that.”

“But as far as that? No. Mac was cool, man. He was a person who was young. He was still trying to find his way. And that’s why I would just say what can he teach me when it’s coming at him faster than it was coming at me? I would always ask Mac, and we were helping each other. It’s like, ‘You straight, bro?’ And I would go to (Brian Hoyer) and be like, ‘Bro, you seeing something that I didn’t see?’ or ‘What was the Mike?’ or XYZ. And then me and Josh had a great dialogue after practice or during practice where he would tell me. But I felt heads and toes above where I was understanding (the offense) 12 months ago. Without a doubt.”

Cam Newton refutes the Rob Ninkovich report that Mac Jones was teaching him the playbook:

“What can Mac teach me?”

— Opiner (@AliasTheGreat) September 10, 2021

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