Bill Belichick: Cam Newton’s vaccination status not a consideration

New England Patriots v New York Giants
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Patriots head coach Bill Belichick met with the media on Wednesday morning for the first time since the team released quarterback Cam Newton and that decision was the main focus of the questions sent Belichick’s way during the press conference.

Belichick said he was “not going to go into the details or timing” about the decision to go with first-round pick Mac Jones as the starting quarterback because “it would take forever” to rehash everything that’s gone on since Jones joined the team. He also declined to comment about why the team did not keep Newton on hand as a backup to Jones.

Newton missed practice time last week because of COVID-19 protocols for unvaccinated players and Belichick was asked if Newton’s vaccination status played a role in his release. Belichick said it did not play a role and said he “wouldn’t lose sight” of the fact that vaccinated players have missed time after testing positive this summer.

Belichick said he didn’t know if Newton missing time helped push Jones into the No. 1 spot on the depth chart, but it couldn’t have helped the veteran’s chances of getting a second season in New England.

58 responses to “Bill Belichick: Cam Newton’s vaccination status not a consideration

  1. he’s probably telling the truth. anyone seen Cam play football during the past several years? its a shocker that he wasn’t cut earlier

  2. The confluence of Belichick being Belichick and Cam being Cam. Having lived in Charlotte and watching Cam’s career to this point, I was amazed it lasted as long as it did.

  3. Where is Cam going to dance next? It’ll be interesting to watch his demeanor change when instead of him dancing and prancing as if every camera is on him, and it’s all about him, to crickets.

  4. I still think it’s a strange decision to cut him. You can never have enough QBs and he played in the preseason which presumably means he was one of their two best QBs. On top of that, he’s still getting paid. Maybe BB doesn’t want to be second guessed if Mac Jones doesn’t paly well. With Cam no longer on the roster people can’t be claiming that he should put Cam back in.

  5. Only shows that Bill is a lot smarter than Urban on this topic. While I think Mac truly WON the QB competition, Cam’s Vacination situatiom is one of the key reasons why he wasn’t kept as the back up,

    I can’t see how ANY team isn’t factoring vaccination status as ONE of the reasons why they keep or let go a player. When you have a situation where just being CLOSE to an infected person can lose you 5 days, how can you depend on that player to be there.

  6. Cam is all about Cam. At this stage in his career, it is more tiring than inspiring. Mac Jones is younger, cheaper, talented and seems like a leader. Makes sense.

  7. LOL….politically correct answer….
    But there you have it, what the media HAD to hear….
    Truth be told, besides being a lousy QB compared to Mac Jones already, OF COURSE CAMS VACCINE STATUS & VIEWS WERE A FACTOR IN HIS DECISION….. did ANYONE actually think he was stupid enough to just come out &say that??!!
    If the NFL has taught him anything at all, it’s not to be 100% honest, THAT will get you into DEEP DEEP TROUBLE…. TRANSPARENCY is just a word Roger & Co. like to throw around but have no clue to what it actually means or stands for!!!
    Still waiting on the results of all the football PSI information gathered after #FRAMEGATE Roge….

  8. Why bother asking him these questions? In a million years he would never divulge anything like that.

  9. Hey Urban, this is how you do it. You know, at this point you might want to change your name to Rural.

  10. I agree with Belichick on this one. Cam’s head seems to be always somewhere else other than football.

  11. He is telling the truth…very carefully.

    Cam’s vaccination status was not a factor. But his level of reliability and dependability was counted just like it is for any player.

  12. It was never about the vaccination status. It’s about Belichick going with someone he drafted and can mold. He’s been impressed with Mac and Cam was just a liability. No arm, waning speed, and cares more about himself.

  13. The less you say the better off you are. The other teams in the league should learn this lesson.

  14. Belichick isn’t being truthful here I don’t think. Patriots lost to KC last year in a game they could have won if Cam played. Instead he was out with COVID and the Patriots had to go with Hoyer/Stidham. Belichick wasn’t able to go through another season with Cam not being reliable. Belichick hates it when he can’t count on players. Cam’s stance on vaccination may very well end up derailing his career.

  15. Belichick has already put Cam Newton in the rearview, so there’s no point in asking him any more questions about it. He certainly would never admit that Newton’s refusal to get vaccinated played a part in cutting him, if it was a factor. He’s not Urban Meyer

  16. All those saying how Urban should or shouldn’t do it, at least he got something for his QB. NE didn’t even get a bag of balls.

  17. Too risky to keep an unvaccimated player, especially at qb, if you have other options. Pats had the luxury of having not much money tied up in Cam and had a viable replacement. Unlike the Vikings who are stuck with Cousins. Would have liked to see Mac in against starters in the preseason if Belichick was leaning this way but it’s the right decision.

  18. Most times in life, the simplest explanation is the right one.

    Mac Jones is better than Cam Newton. It’s not even close. Cam Newton doesn’t want to be a backup. Belichick released him so he could pursue other opportunities to be a starter (should there be any, which is unlikely at this point of his career).

  19. I believe BB allowed Cam to look for another starting position once he was no longer going to be the starter. BB has full respect for a Heisman winner and NFL MVP. This had nothing to do with Vaccinations. Hoyer will be back ASAP.

  20. They could have beat KC without Cam that day. Two bonehead plays in the red zone cost two easy FG attempts. Plus 2 dropped should-have-been picks. Stidham’s pick six was just KC icing.

  21. Those focusing on Cam Newton’s vaccination status are missing a critical point.
    I’m sure Bill Belichick wasn’t thrilled that Cam was unvaccinated. Certainly there were other contributing issues that factored into his release, including removing obstacles that may have stood in Mac Jones’ way, saving cap money etc.
    However, simply being unvaccinated wasn’t the central issue here. Other, lesser players are unvaccinated and still have jobs today.
    Newton, the team’s quarterback and alleged leader, couldn’t be bothered or counted upon to know, research or take seriously protocols for the unvaccinated. He cost the team his services by violating those rules and leaving town.
    Even a vaccinated player can test positive and cost the team both his presence and that of others around him. Newton took it a step further. He was irresponsible, and clearly couldn’t be depended upon to follow the rules for the good of the team. When Jones shined in Newton’s absence Cam’s fate was sealed.
    I highly doubt Newton would have been released solely for being unvaccinated. His selfish and ignorant violation of COVID protocols were the deciding factor. If he’d do it during the preseason he could do it in the regular season and cost the Patriots big-time. Nothing will get you in Belichick’s doghouse faster.

  22. While Cam’s toughness is questionable, he’s a big 6-5 and a good runner. A tougher guy might have been converted to a lanky TE/RB, like Aaron Hernandez or Cordell Patterson, to extend his career.
    Plus he could throw a pass or two as an option pass.

  23. Godzilla says:
    September 1, 2021 at 9:16 am
    He is telling the truth…very carefully.
    Cam’s vaccination status was not a factor. But his level of reliability and dependability was counted just like it is for any player.
    ———————-
    Nailed it. Exactly what I read too. As a long admirer of BB I know you gotta read what he didn’t say, and here: the factor was Cam’s absence because he didn’t follow test rules.

  24. Listen to Bill talk to players in those mic’ed up clips on NFL films, etc. “Can you give me that every week?” or something similar, is a question he loves to ask.

    He wants players who are consistently reliable in their performance.

  25. Mac Jones style of play is just like Tom Brady: Very cerebral and based on accuracy. Coming from Bama, Jones already had the skill set McDaniels wanted and executed the Brady playbook well. Cam Newton has always been a ‘read and react’ QB, which doesn’t age well, especially when physical skills diminish like Cam’s have. McDaniels was tired of having to have a separate playbook for a old, limited QB, so they cut Cam. Cam should call it a career. He’s got money, an MVP, and a SB appearance. Nothing left to prove, so hopefully he won’t embarass himself like Flacco still does.

  26. Bill would never lie or cheat ..WAIT HE HAS AND WILL. WHAT A JOKE.

    =======

    He also would never trip an opponent running down the the sideline!

  27. I was listening to his PC on my way to work. They would not stop asking him about the vaccination status and when he gave the answer I knew the media would pee down their collective legs.

    I fully expected Cam to be the starter, but not for the season. It was easy to see what Jones could do. Bill probably said “screw it and let’s get it started earlier”

  28. patsfan1818 says:
    September 1, 2021 at 9:20 am
    It was never about the vaccination status. It’s about Belichick going with someone he drafted and can mold.
    ————————————
    Please tell us all about Jarrett Stidham. Hahahaha

  29. @jcdough said exactly what I came to say. We will never know if it was or wasn’t and it doesn’t matter. Is what it is. But heck of a teaching moment for that dumb guy in Florida.

    Meyer this is the NFL. There are no boosters, you aren’t BMOC, etc. keep your thoughts to yourself. Unlike too many commenters here I don’t think BB invented everything about the game and gamesmanship but he does have this part down.

  30. I have two views on this as a Bostonian and diehard pats fan.

    1) yeah, COVID played a huge role. We COULD HAVE won the KC game. That was probably the best game plan defensively all season, and hoyer blows it with a sack before halftime with no timeouts left. After that game, we get blitzed by the 49ers, then lose a winnable game against Denver, but COVID smoked the team

    2) salary cap. We just gained another 8 million by releasing can. That plays a role in a potential Gilmore contract extension, or acquiring another player if belichick feels we are close. We have always maintained cap awareness. ALWAYS

  31. 2) salary cap. We just gained another 8 million by releasing can. That plays a role in a potential Gilmore contract extension, or acquiring another player if belichick feels we are close. We have always maintained cap awareness.
    ———————————————-
    Not true…. The Pats gained ABSOLUTELY NOTHING by cutting Cam…. His base salary was 1.5 million with a 2 million signing bonus ALL GUARANTEED….. Cam cost us 3.5 million & IF some team signs him the Pats will then be off the hook from whatever his SALARY IS up to 1.5 million MAX for the Pats cap

  32. Christopher Allan says:
    September 1, 2021 at 10:55 am
    patsfan1818 says:
    September 1, 2021 at 9:20 am
    It was never about the vaccination status. It’s about Belichick going with someone he drafted and can mold.
    ————————————
    Please tell us all about Jarrett Stidham. Hahahaha

    0 4 Rate This

    —————

    Good looking prospect as well. He will be the #2 in Nov and get ready to go as the back up.

    Excellent.

    NE now has 2 handpicked BB prospects, one ready to go, the other looking to get back on track from being blocked last year by a pandemix.

    BB will have 2 qbs under rookie deals. Genius.

  33. Why would a coach keep a QB who isn’t vaccinated unless he had no choice? Belichick came to the only possible conclusion that keeping an unvaccinated QB is dangerous. Can you imagine if he planned to start Cam and he flunked a COVID test on the Friday before the game? Or, even worse, if he came down with COVID (again!), which meant that everyone in the QB room was now out for Sunday’s game? If this scenario occurs the NFL will make vaccination mandatory.

  34. Wayoutleftfield says:
    Can you imagine if he planned to start Cam and he flunked a COVID test on the Friday before the game? Or, even worse, if he came down with COVID (again!), which meant that everyone in the QB room was now out for Sunday’s game?
    ==

    All true. However, as I stated above, a vaccinated player can also test positive the Friday before a game, in which case the QB room and possibly other players might likely also end up in mandatory protocols.
    Cam Newton either knowingly (selfishly) or unknowingly (irresponsibly) violated NFL COVID rules and procedures, putting his interests over that of the team and endangering its prospects. Simply put, Bill Belichick could no longer trust or count on him.
    Principally that, combined with his subpar play last year, Mac Jones’ emergence, and the salary savings are why Newton was cut.

  35. Teams are not going to cut their starting QB because of vaccines. That’s stupid. So you cut your QB and lose him for 17 games because he might miss 1 game due to COVID? See what I’m saying? Doesn’t make sense. You want to talk about lack of availability as a competitive disadvantage. But if you cut your starting QB, you guarantee you lose him for the season.

  36. The hoodie is always playing chess and everyone else is playing checkers.

    Not impressed it just means he hasn’t stolen his nephew’s checker board ….that’s all it means.

  37. The NFL has made being an unvaccinated player detrimental to the team and now people are shocked or surprised that that may influence the decision to keep or cut a player?

  38. Newton does not fit the McDaniels style of QB. Josh had to have another playbook for Cam while the other 3 QBs all fit in Josh’s book. The Covid protocol screw up sealed the deal.

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