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

Oct 5, 2020; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer (2) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter of a NFL game at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots re-sign QB Brian Hoyer on 1-year deal

Quarterback Brian Hoyer re-signed with the New England Patriots, his representatives announced Monday.

NFL.com reported that it was a one-year deal with financial terms not disclosed.

Hoyer is lined up to enter his 13th NFL season by extending his third career stint with the Patriots. He also played for New England from 2009-2011 and 2017-18.

As the second-string quarterback in 2020, Hoyer ended up starting one game for the Patriots and went 15-for-24 for 130 yards and an interception in a 26-10 Week 4 defeat at Kansas City.

The Patriots’ quarterback room also will feature 2021 first-round draft pick Mac Jones, Jarrett Stidham and former NFL MVP Cam Newton, who also re-signed with New England on a one-year contract this offseason. Hoyer, 35, figures to be a veteran back up and possible mentor for the rookie Jones.

In 12 seasons with the Patriots, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, Hoyer has appeared in 70 games, while he amassed a 16-23 record as a starter. He has thrown for 10,404 yards and 52 touchdowns with 35 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (20) against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Free agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick visiting Pats

Veteran cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is visiting the New England Patriots, NFL Network reported Thursday.

The 31-year-old free agent started 11 of his 14 games with the Arizona Cardinals in 2020 following an eight-year run with the Cincinnati Bengals.

He registered 56 tackles and three interceptions with the Cardinals, boosting his career totals to 358 tackles, 13 picks and three sacks in 113 games (78 starts).

He has returned two interceptions for touchdowns in his career, one against Baltimore’s Joe Flacco in 2013 and another against Denver’s Peyton Manning in 2014.

Cincinnati selected Kirkpatrick in the first round (17th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama.

–Field Level Media

Oct 18, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman (11) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots release WR Julian Edelman after 11 seasons

Dec 27, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball against Houston Texans linebacker Jonathan Greenard (52) during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots terminated the contract of former Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman on Monday.

The 34-year-old wide receiver is listed with a “failed physical” designation on the NFL’s transaction wire, and there were reports that he is mulling retirement.

A three-time Super Bowl winner, Edelman ranks second in Patriots history in receptions (620), fourth in receiving yards (6,822) and ninth in touchdown receptions (36).

A quarterback in college at Kent State, Edelman was drafted in the seventh round (232nd overall) by New England in 2009 and wound up playing in 137 regular season games and 19 postseason games.

Edelman posted three 1,000-yard seasons and two 100-catch campaigns. He missed the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason.

He was named the MVP of Super Bowl LIII after catching 10 passes for 141 yards in the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Edelman’s release frees up $3.4 million in salary cap space for the Patriots, per Spotrac.

–Field Level Media

Dec 6, 2020; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) tries to break free from  Los Angeles Chargers free safety Nasir Adderley (24) during the second quarter at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots re-sign RB James White, FB Jakob Johnson

The New England Patriots re-signed unrestricted free-agent running back James White and exclusive rights free-agent fullback Jakob Johnson on Thursday.

White, 29, will return for his eighth season with the New England Patriots, while Johnson, 26, returns for his third. While the Patriots didn’t announce terms of either deal, James signed a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $2.5 million while the financial terms of Johnson’s one-year deal weren’t disclosed, according to ESPN.

White has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots since they drafted him in the fourth round in 2014 out of Wisconsin.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound White rushed 35 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns and caught 49 passes for 375 yards and one score in 14 games (zero starts) last season.

In 92 career regular-season games (13 starts), he has 369 receptions for 3,184 yards and 25 touchdowns, plus 1,240 rushing yards and 10 TDs.

White gained 139 yards from scrimmage and scored the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns in the Patriots’ come-from-behind 34-28 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

Though known for his blocking, the 6-3, 255-pound Johnson caught eight passes for 35 yards and a touchdown while also contributing heavily on special teams last season.

Johnson played linebacker and tight end at Tennessee. He joined the Patriots as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program in 2019 after playing in 12 games for the Stuttgart Scorpions in the German Football League in 2018.

Johnson began the 2019 season on the practice squad before being promoted to the 53-man roster in September of that year.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots running back James White (28) celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Patriots close to re-signing RB James White

Veteran running back James White is expected to return for an eighth season with the New England Patriots, ESPN reported Wednesday.

The report says the Patriots are close to a deal with the 29-year-old free agent, who has won three Super Bowls with the club since being drafted in the fourth round in 2014.

White rushed 35 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns and caught 49 passes for 375 yards and one score in 14 games last season.

In 92 career regular-season games (13 starts), he has 369 receptions for 3,184 yards and 25 touchdowns, plus 1,240 rushing yards and 10 TDs.

White gained 139 yards from scrimmage and scored the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns in the Patriots’ come-from-behind 34-28 overtime victory against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New England Patriots kicker Nick Folk (6) kicks the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: K Nick Folk returning to Patriots

Nov 12, 2020; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Denico Autry (96) celebrates a sack with Indianapolis Colts middle linebacker Anthony Walker (54) and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart (90) during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent kicker Nick Folk has agreed to return to the New England Patriots on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports Thursday.

Folk’s new contract will reportedly pay him $1.1 million in guaranteed base salary with a $125,000 signing bonus and incentives that give the deal a maximum value of $2.5 million.

The 36-year-old made 26 of 28 field goals and 30 of 33 extra points in 2020, his second season with New England.

The one-time Pro Bowl selection has made 285 of 350 field goals and 384 of 391 PATs in his 13-season career with the Dallas Cowboys (2007-09), New York Jets (2010-16), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2017) and the Patriots. He ranks 35th on the NFL’s all-time list with 285 career made field goals.

New England also has kickers Roberto Aguayo and Justin Rohrwasser currently on its roster.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA;  New England Patriots defensive back Justin Bethel (29) downs a punt inside the 5 yard line while Miami Dolphins wide receiver Trevor Davis (89) looks on during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pats re-sign special teams ace Justin Bethel

The New England Patriots are re-signing special teams ace Justin Bethel to a three-year contract, multiple outlets reported Friday.

ESPN reported the deal was worth $6 million. NFL Network said the contract includes $2.75 million guaranteed and has incentives for making the Pro Bowl.

Bethel, 30, shared the league lead with 13 solo tackles on special teams in his first full season with New England in 2020. The Patriots signed him in October 2019 after he was released by the Baltimore Ravens.

A sixth-round pick by Arizona in 2012, Bethel made three straight Pro Bowls with the Cardinals from 2013-15.

The cornerback has played in 142 games with the Cardinals (2012-17), Atlanta Falcons (2018), Ravens (2019) and Patriots. He has returned three of his four career interceptions for touchdowns.

–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

Reports: Patriots re-signing QB Cam Newton on one-year deal

The New England Patriots are re-signing quarterback Cam Newton for 2021, multiple outlets reported Friday.

The one-year deal is worth close to $14 million, ESPN reported.

Newton, who turns 32 in May, started 15 games (7-8 record) for the Patriots last season. He completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions and rushed for 592 yards and 12 scores.

The 2011 No. 1 overall pick and 2015 NFL MVP signed a modest deal with New England in June 2020 after playing his first nine seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

In an interview with the “I Am Athlete” podcast last month, Newton said he was open to another one-year deal with the Patriots.

“I’m getting tired of changing (teams),” he said. “I am at a point in my career where I know way more than I did last year. Yes, I would go back.”

The Patriots, who finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008, also have 2019 fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham on the roster. The 24-year-old has completed 24 of 48 passes for 270 yards, two TDs and four picks in eight career appearances.

–Field Level Media