There's been a lot of smoke surrounding Cam Newton and the New England Patriots.
Apparently there was some fire earlier this offseason.
Here's ESPN's Jeremy Fowler in a report Saturday on the free-agent quarterback, who is expected to take his time before signing with a team:
League sources believe Newton and the New England Patriots talked early during his free agency but nothing materialized.
The Patriots seemed like a potential fit for Newton in late March after Tom Brady left New England to sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Carolina Panthers released Newton after his injury-riddled 2019 campaign, but the 31-year-old still is a three-time Pro Bowler and former NFL MVP who boasts the experience that presumptive starter Jarrett Stidham lacks.
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According to Fowler, the Patriots had at least some level of interest in signing Newton before seemingly moving on. Newton likely would have had to take a massive pay cut to play in New England after making $16.7 million with the Panthers last season, as the Patriots had very little cap space prior to the 2020 NFL Draft.
Fowler suggested Newton may wait until teams resume "regular activity" amid the coronavirus pandemic before meeting with clubs in person.
If the Patriots already talked to Newton, it's unlikely they'd again consider signing him later this offseason -- although the oddsmakers still beg to differ.