New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick discussed the release of quarterback Cam Newton in an interview Tuesday, saying he had nothing but good will towards Newton.
“I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam,” Belichick told WEEI Sports Radio. “He came in here, he worked hard. He gave us everything he had.”
The Patriots released Newton on Aug. 31. First-round draft pick Mac Jones will start at quarterback for New England. “Right now, our future is going to be Mac [Jones] at quarterback, and that is where we’re going to go,” Belichick said.
— WEEI Springfield (@WEEIspringfield) September 7, 2021
Newton signed a one-year, $13.6 million deal with the Patriots in March after playing with the team on a veteran minimum deal in 2020. He was the starting quarterback during the preseason, but reports indicate Jones consistently outplayed him. (RELATED: REPORT: Mac Jones Was Teaching Cam Newton The Playbook)
“It’s always difficult when you have to reduce your roster,” Belichick said of the decision to cut Newton. “A lot of guys that worked hard. A lot of guys that performed well and had either good years for us, or good careers. [B]ut… I have to do what I feel like is best for the football team… It’s always tough to tell guys who have worked hard and have given you all they had that you’re not able to keep them.”
When asked if he considered keeping Newton as a backup, Belichick said he had considered it, but “in the end we did what we felt was best.”
Newton has been considered by several teams, notably the Dallas Cowboys, but as of Tuesday he remains a free agent.