Aug 29, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks on during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Patriots release Cam Newton, tab Mac Jones as starting QB

The New England Patriots have released quarterback Cam Newton and turned the starting job over to Mac Jones, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

As the Patriots starter last season, Newton — the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player — completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ran for 592 yards with 12 scores.

But the 2011 top overall pick lost a training camp battle against Jones to keep the job, hindered in part by landing in the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Newton started Sunday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants, but completed just 2 of 5 passes for 10 yards and left after two drives. His final pass was an interception that ended the second drive.

Jones took over and went 10-for-14 for 156 yards with a touchdown. Jones completed 36 of 52 passes for 389 yards over the three preseason games.

Brian Hoyer will be Jones’ backup for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

QB Cam Newton out of COVID protocols, returns to Patriots

New England Patriots QB Cam Newton was back at practice Thursday after missing five days as required by league COVID-19 protocols.

Newton’s hiatus resulted from a trip he made Saturday to a “club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area,” the team said Monday. “Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility.”

Coach Bill Belichick said Thursday, per NFL Network, that Newton “didn’t go against team rules” and added, “All the QBs will get work today.”

In Newton’s absence, first-round draft pick Mac Jones ran with the first team on Tuesday and at Wednesday’s joint practice with the New York Giants.

Belichick hasn’t named a starter for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Miami Dolphins in Foxborough, Mass.

The Patriots conclude their preseason slate on Sunday vs. the Giants.

As the Patriots starter last season, Newton — the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player — completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He ran for 592 yards with 12 scores.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) drops back to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pats frustrated with Cam Newton over hiatus

The New England Patriots are frustrated internally with quarterback Cam Newton’s decision to leave the team and subsequent five-day hiatus due to COVID-19 protocols, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The team publicly referred to Newton’s situation as a “misunderstanding” of the league’s testing protocols Monday and coach Bill Belichick stood by that Tuesday.

However, there is a sentiment that Newton’s misstep could be an open door for rookie quarterback Mac Jones, according to NFL Network.

Belichick was asked Tuesday if Newton’s absence was a good opportunity for Jones.

“It is, yes,” Belichick responded. But that’s as committal as the coach would get when questioned another time about the situation.

“We’ll evaluate everything the way we always do, based on the information we have,” he added.

Newton is expected to return Thursday, giving Jones Tuesday plus Wednesday’s joint practice with the New York Giants to run with the first team.

The Patriots play their preseason finale Sunday vs. the Giants.

Newton on Saturday went to a “club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area,” the team said Monday. “Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility.

Newton has refused to say whether he’s been vaccinated, but the situation seems to have exposed the fact that he hasn’t been since only unvaccinated players require daily testing.

That question was also put to Belichick, who was vague when asked if being unvaccinated puts Newton at a disadvantage.

“The league rules are the league rules,” he said. “We’ll be compliant with them. … Every team is dealing with the same situation.”

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) drops back to pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton out because of ‘misunderstanding’ of COVID-19 tests

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was absent from Monday’s practice, causing many to wonder what was ailing the former NFL MVP.

The Patriots were quick to release a statement explaining the reason behind Newton’s absence.

“On Saturday, Cam Newton traveled to a club-approved medical appointment that required him to leave the New England area. He received daily Covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26.”

Newton previously has declined to say whether he’s vaccinated, although this situation seems to have provided an answer; only unvaccinated players are required to be tested daily.

Newton, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the 2015 NFL MVP with the Carolina Panthers, is in his second season with the Patriots.

Brought in to fill the very big shoes of Tom Brady, Newton was 7-8 as a starter in 2020 as the Patriots missed the playoffs for only the third time in 20 seasons. He completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He added 12 touchdowns on 592 rushing yards.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2021; Foxborough, MA, United States; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (50) watches New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick: Cam Newton is Patriots QB … for now

Veteran Cam Newton is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. At least for now.

That’s what coach Bill Belichick told reporters Saturday, reiterating the comments he made after the Patriots selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in April.

Still, Belichick acknowledged he could change his viewpoint as training camp progresses in Foxborough, Mass.

“We’ll take a look at the whole situation,” Belichick said. “I don’t think you want to evaluate players at any position off one or two plays, or maybe a day. So from a consistency standpoint, that’s always important. And obviously production. So hopefully those things will be good, and I’m sure it will be a hard decision.”

Since training camp opened this week, Newton has taken the majority of the snaps, followed by Jones.

Newton, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the 2015 NFL MVP with the Carolina Panthers, is in his second season with the Patriots. Brought in to fill the very big shoes of Tom Brady, Newton was 7-8 as a starter as the Patriots missed the playoffs for only the third time in 20 seasons. He completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He added 12 touchdowns on 592 rushing yards.

Newton, 32, told reporters Friday that he knows his grip on the position isn’t secure.

“Ever since I’ve been here, there’s been a quarterback competition,” he said. “I think, in essence, that’s the underlying Patriot Way. Every position has a competition there, and quarterback is no different.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2021; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) participates in a drill during the New England Patriots mini camp at the New England Patriots practice complex. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton says no extra motivation from Mac Jones’ presence

Cam Newton says he understands.

When the Patriots drafted Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round in April, many wondered if Newton would feel slighted as New England’s incumbent at the position.

Newton said he doesn’t see it that way.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “He was the right pick in my opinion. He was the best player available, and that’s what the NFL draft is for.”

Newton was speaking to the media for the first time since re-signing in March.

“As far as having any chip on the shoulder, you’re stating the obvious,” he added. “I don’t need too much to get myself going. It’s no disrespect to Mac. It’s no disrespect to (coach) Bill (Belichick) and his decision. I support it 110 percent, because you still have to do what’s right for the organization, for the long haul.”

Belichick said after the draft that Newton is the team’s quarterback, and Newton has taken the first-team reps so far in minicamp.

Newton has given the young quarterback the nickname “Mac and Cheese,” as Newton is wont to toss nicknames around for many teammates, and he said Jones is going through what every rookie does.

“Mac and Cheese, he’s pretty cool. He’s quiet. I think he’s trying to figure everybody out,” the 32-year-old former NFL Most Valuable Player said. “I’ve been there before. I’ve been a rookie and I’ve been a first-round pick, where so much is asked from you.

“He’s doing a great job with being everything that’s advertised — from a leadership perspective, he’s holding himself accountable. That’s all you can ask from a young player.”

With quarterbacks Jarret Stidham and Brian Hoyer also on the roster, Newton said every one of the four wants to be the starter, and he’s just happy he has more time to absorb the team’s intricate offense after not signing until July of last year.

“In the latter part of the season, it just caught up to me,” Newton said. “I was thinking too much. There just wasn’t enough hours in the day.

“You can’t simulate real, live bullets and that’s what it came down to.”

The Patriots struggled through a 7-9 season in 2020 and missed the playoffs in their first year without superstar quarterback Tom Brady, who played for the team from 2000-19 and won six Super Bowls for New England. He won his seventh Super Bowl championship last season after joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) talks with a member of the Arizona Cardinals prior to the start of the game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Stephon Gilmore a no-show, Cam Newton full-go at Pats’ camp

Two-time All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore is not at the first day of mandatory minicamp for the New England Patriots on Monday, multiple outlets reported.

Quarterback Cam Newton, however, is a full-go after injuring his hand during OTAs.

Missing Monday’s session would cost Gilmore $15,000, while missing all three days would rack up a total of roughly $93,000 in fines. Gilmore skipped all of the Pats’ voluntary workouts.

Gilmore is coming off surgery on his quadriceps, an injury that cost him the final two games of the 2020 season. Gilmore also missed time after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season. He recorded three pass breakups, one interception, one forced fumble and 37 total tackles in 11 games played last season.

It’s unclear the reason for Gilmore’s absence on Monday.

Gilmore, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, is in the final year of a five-year, $65 contract and is scheduled to earn just $7 million this season, well below market value. However, the team last year moved $4.5 million of this year’s salary into his 2020 compensation, a boost in response to Gilmore’s DPOY from the prior season.

Newton, 32, sustained a bone bruise in his right hand during a June 4 practice session but showed up Friday and threw the ball quite a bit, per reports.

Newton re-signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal in March after going 7-8 and passing for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first season with New England in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton smiles against the New York Jets during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cam Newton could rejoin Patriots Monday

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton could be available for the beginning of mandatory minicamp on Monday after making a surprise showing at OTAs on Friday, according to ESPN.

Newton, 32, sustained a bone bruise in his right hand during a June 4 practice session and it was feared the former NFL MVP could miss the remainder of OTAs and the June 15-17 minicamp before returning to action at training camp in late July.

But coach Bill Belichick said Thursday that the New England Patriots quarterback’s hand injury is healing.

“He’s doing all right,” Belichick told reporters. “He won’t participate today, but … he’s getting better. I think he’ll be all right.”

And on Friday, Newton showed up to the Patriots OTA session and “threw the ball around a bit,” per ESPN.

First-round draft pick Mac Jones, third-year player Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer are getting the reps in Newton’s absence.

Newton re-signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal in March after going 7-8 and passing for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first season with New England in 2020.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Newton has passed for 31,698 yards and 190 TDs and rushed for 5,398 yards and 70 scores in 140 games (139 starts) with the Carolina Panthers (2011-19) and Patriots. The 2015 MVP is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the third quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton’s hand ‘getting better,’ says Bill Belichick

Cam Newton will miss Thursday’s organized team activity, but coach Bill Belichick said the New England Patriots quarterback’s hand injury is healing.

“He’s doing all right,” Belichick told reporters Thursday morning. “He won’t participate today, but … he’s getting better. I think he’ll be all right.”

Newton, 32, sustained a bone bruise in his right hand during a June 4 practice session.

Recent reports suggested the former NFL MVP could miss the remainder of OTAs and the June 15-17 minicamp before returning to action at training camp in late July.

First-round draft pick Mac Jones, third-year player Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer are getting the reps in Newton’s absence.

Newton re-signed with the Patriots on a one-year deal in March after going 7-8 and passing for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first season with New England in 2020.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Newton has passed for 31,698 yards and 190 TDs and rushed for 5,398 yards and 70 scores in 140 games (139 starts) with the Carolina Panthers (2011-19) and Patriots. The 2015 MVP is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

–Field Level Media

Published Caption:  Patriots quarterback Cam Newton looks for a receiver in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. [The Providence Journal / Kris Craig] Original Caption:  Patriots quarterback Cam Newton looks for a receiver in the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

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Reports: Hand injury slows Patriots QB Cam Newton at practice

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton appeared to injure his right hand during the voluntary organized team activity, according to multiple reports Friday.

The training staff reportedly examined Newton’s hand halfway through the session and the former MVP did not return.

First-round draft pick Mac Jones, third-year player Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer took repetitions in Newton’s place.

Newton, 32, re-signed with the team on a one-year deal in March after going 7-8 and passing for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his first season with New England in 2020.

The Patriots selected Jones with the 15th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones, 22, passed for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions while leading Alabama to a national championship last season.

Stidham, 24, was drafted in the fourth round out of Auburn in 2019. He has completed 24 of 48 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four picks in eight games (zero starts) over the past two seasons.

Hoyer, 35, is eying his third stint with New England after playing with the club from 2009-11 and 2017-18.

–Field Level Media