If you're hoping for a 49ers-Patriots matchup in the Super Bowl in February, those odds just got slightly better Sunday.
Former NFL MVP Cam Newton agreed to a one-year contract with New England, ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reported, citing sources.
With the addition of Newton, who confirmed the news on Instagram, the Patriots' odds of reaching Super Bowl LV jumped to 10-1, according to Points Bet USA.
And New England's odds of winning their seventh Lombardi Trophy jumped from 25-1 to 20-1. The 49ers' odds of winning the Super Bowl are 9-1.
The Patriots were slated to head into training camp with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as the leading candidates to start at quarterback in Week 1. But Newton, who won the MVP in 2015, changes all that.
If Newton wins the Patriots' starting quarterback job, he will get a chance to face the 49ers before a possible Super Bowl preview. The two teams are set to face each other on Oct. 25 in Foxboro.
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There's still a long way to go until a possible 49ers-Patriots meeting in the Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs (5-1) and Baltimore Ravens (6-1) remain the heavy favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, but the Patriots threw their hat back in the ring after Tom Brady left in free agency for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Arik Armstead doesn't want to hear it.
The 49ers defensive lineman spoke to Sactown Magazine for its July/August issue, and says that if you're not willing to listen to his dialogue off the field about social issues affecting our country, Armstead doesn't want you tuning in to watch him and his teammates dominate on the field.
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“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays. Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.” In our new July/Aug issue, San Francisco 49er Arik Armstead talks about race, the NFL and moving back home to Sacramento. Also in the issue: a conversation with Urban Roots owner Rob Archie, a photo essay and stories about life during quarantine, a profile on the plant-based butcher shop Love Child, and more. On newsstands at Corti Bros., the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, Nugget Markets, Raley’s, Bel Air, Safeway and elsewhere. 📸: @mahanti.photo
“If you don’t want me speaking out against racism and social issues and social injustices, then don’t watch me play on Sundays. Can’t have a piece of me and not all of me.”
Armstead also joined NBC Sports Bay Area's "Race In America" series a few weeks ago, and spoke about the pain he felt seeing video of the death of Minnesota man George Floyd in Minneapolis Police Custody.
"Like, why do I have to continue -- why do we have to continue to see people that look like us get murdered on social media and on the TV?" Armstead told Logan Murdock and Monte Poole on "Race In America: A Candid Conversation." " ... I'm on Instagram, and I just got to see another Black person get killed unjustly."
[RACE IN AMERICA: Listen to the latest episode]
The 26-year-old also discussed a time when he was racially profiled by local police near a friend's house in Elk Grove.
“A cop gets behind us, pulls us over,” Armstead recalls. “‘What y’all doing? Where y’all going?’”
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The officer then made Armstead and his friends prove that they knew the people whose house they were traveling to, by bringing the cop with them to the front door and having the friend explain that he was acquainted with Armstead.
Armstead has made it clear he won't be staying silent or "sticking to sports." For those who don't want to hear Armstead's voice on these issues, don't expect him to care whether you watch him play on Sundays.
Joe Staley long has been a model of consistency for the 49ers, spending the past 12 seasons protecting a myriad of 49ers quarterbacks as San Francisco's starting left tackle.
Staley's younger teammates held so much respect for him, as you could see from the many who spoke publicly in the wake of Staley's retirement back in April.
It appears even in retirement Staley continues to inspire his former teammates, as 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne shared an Instagram direct message from Staley on Sunday morning.
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"Never lose sight of the goal. The ring," Staley wrote to Bourne. "That's all that matters in what we do. I never got it. You. Mr KB!! Go get it!! F-----g GET IT!! Make me proud bro. I love watching your hustle. All love."
Staley was responding to a video Bourne had posted of some of the hardware he's earned over his football career, including one of the game balls from the 49ers' blowout Week 8 win over the Carolina Panthers.
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Bourne and the 49ers came so close to helping Staley capture that elusive championship ring, but quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied from a 10-point deficit to stun San Francisco at Super Bowl LIV.
The 49ers won the offseason in the eyes of some pundits around the league, and appear primed for another deep postseason run. It'll be up to Bourne, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the rest of the 49ers' talented roster to finish the job if they can get back to the Super Bowl.