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Before New Season, a Big Surprise From Patriots

New England cuts veteran QB Cam Newton, who was brought in to replace Tom Brady
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 10:16 AM CDT
Biggest NFL Roster Surprise Is From Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton during a preseason game Aug. 29. Newton is no longer on the team.   (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

(Newser) – NFL teams are trimming their rosters ahead of the new season, and the New England Patriots just dropped the biggest surprise so far: New England cut veteran quarterback Cam Newton, who had been brought in last season with the impossible task of replacing Tom Brady. The Boston Globe and ESPN reported the move. Newton had been the presumed starter heading into preseason, but rookie Mac Jones played well. Still, whichever QB won the starting position for Week 1, it was assumed the other would be the backup, notes NBC Sports. Not so.

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Coach Bill Belichick has not spoken publicly about the decision to ditch Newton entirely. A few days ago, Newton was the topic of other unfortunate headlines. A Patriots analyst on a local sports radio station apologized for remarks considered racially insensitive about the QB, reports the Boston Herald. Scott Zolak had suggested that Newton "turn off the rap music" at practice because he seemed "distracted" by it. "In between every throw, he's dancing. He can't help himself." On Sunday, Zolak walked it back. “That’s something I know that’s drawn attention for being racially insensitive," he said. "I’m sorry for that comment." He added that he personally apologized to Newton. (Read more Cam Newton stories.)

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