Belichick has 'nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam'
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick: 'I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam' Newton

Cam Newton is no longer a member of the New England Patriots. That hasn't stopped the team — or anybody else, really — from talking about his tenure in Foxborough.

Pats head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Newton's surprising exit on WEEI on Tuesday and got uncharacteristically candid when discussing the veteran QB.

“I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam,” Belichick said. “He came in here, he worked hard. He gave us everything he had. Right now, our future is going to be Mac (Jones) at quarterback, and that is where we’re going to go.”

His comments make the reasons behind Newton's release even more mysterious. Although Jones exceeded expectations in his first NFL training camp, Newton's strong preseason gave the impression the starting job was his to lose. However, rumors Newton fell out of favor with the organization after breaking COVID protocols and new claims Jones picked up the Pats' playbook faster raise questions as to whether he was on a much shorter leash than most people realized. 

While Belichick is notoriously tight-lipped during press conferences, he did openly compliment Newton on a regular basis. He even went so far as to call Newton the team's starter ahead of training camp. Even when Newton had to miss practice time after breaking COVID protocols, the hooded head coach didn't count him out of the QB race with the rookie Jones.

Belichick revealed he would have liked to see Newton stay with the team as the backup quarterback. 

"There's always options and a lot of different things that you give, especially this time of year with so many players available before they all hit the practice squad," he said. "But, yeah, in the end, we did what we felt was best."

Newton remains a free agent ahead of Week 1.

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