Morning Sports Update

‘He gave us everything he had’: Bill Belichick discussed the decision to release Cam Newton

"I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam."

Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick and Cam Newton during the 2020 season opener against the Dolphins. Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Red Sox lost to the Rays 11-10 in 10 innings on Monday despite jumping out to an early 7-1 lead. Boston now trails Tampa Bay by nine games in the American League East. The two teams face off again this evening at 7:10 p.m.

The Patriots enter final preparations for the season opener against the Dolphins on Sunday (4:25 p.m.) at Gillette Stadium.

And the Eastern Conference-leading Revolution are set to face New York City FC on Saturday (7 p.m.) also at Gillette Stadium. New England goalkeeper Matt Turner could potentially start once again for the United States national team in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

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Bill Belichick on Cam Newton: Of the roster cuts that the Patriots made prior to the start of the regular season, none received more attention than that of quarterback Cam Newton.

The 32-year-old former MVP was New England’s starter in 2020, but lost the preseason quarterback competition to rookie first-round pick Mac Jones. In the end, Belichick decided to cut Newton.

During a Tuesday interview with WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” Belichick was asked about releasing Newton.

“It’s always difficult when you have to reduce your roster,” Belichick explained. “A lot of guys worked hard, a lot of guys that performed well and had either good years for us or good careers. I respect all those things, but each year is its own year, and I have to do what I feel like is best for the football team. So in regard to every decision, that’s what I try to do.

“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,” added Belichick.

On how he viewed Newton specifically, Belichick credited the former No. 1 overall pick’s work ethic.

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

One aspect of the roster move that left lingering questions was the decision to cut Newton instead of simply relegating him to second on the depth chart, keeping him as Jones’s backup.

According to Belichick, the Patriots considered that option, but ultimately decided against it.

“There are 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,” Belichick noted. “But, yeah, in the end we did what we felt was best.”

Trivia: The Patriots face the Dolphins on Sunday in the 2021 season opener. Dating back to the 2011 season, New England has played Miami three times in Week 1, going 2-1 in that span. The lone loss came in 2014, when the Dolphins amassed 191 combined rushing yards in a 33-20 win. Who was Miami leading rusher that day?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: He was originally drafted 12th overall by the Broncos in 2009.

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On this day: In 2000, David Ortiz — then with the Twins — hit his first career grand slam at Fenway Park off of Ramon Martinez.

Daily highlight: Hawaii running back Calvin Turner Jr. put together an early highlight of the 2021 college football season against Portland State on Sunday in a 49-35 win.

Trivia answer: Knowshon Moreno.

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