Patriots

NFL Rumors: Cam Newton, Patriots had discussions in free agency

NFL Rumors: Cam Newton, Patriots had discussions in free agency

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.

Why Stephon Gilmore thinks Cam Newton was 'great signing' for Patriots

Why Stephon Gilmore thinks Cam Newton was 'great signing' for Patriots

If you want to know how talented Cam Newton is, just ask the players tasked with defending him.

Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was one of those players before Newton signed a one-year contract last week to become his New England teammate. When asked what he thought of the Patriots signing Newton, Gilmore seemed relieved he wouldn't have to deal with the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback on another team.

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"It was a great signing," Gilmore told host Bakari Sellers on The Ringer's "The Bakari Sellers Podcast." "I think Cam's very hungry. I've always been a Cam fan. I think he's hard to prepare against and he has a great opportunity to compete for a starting job. I'm looking forward to seeing him on our team."

What makes Newton so difficult to prepare against? Gilmore mentioned there aren't many signal-callers who boast the 6-foot-5, 245-pound quarterback's combination of size, strength and running ability.

"I think he's his own unique player," Gilmore said. "Obviously he can run the ball, he can throw it. Anytime you can do both of those things, it's hard to get ready for a certain thing, so he always keeps you off guard.

"He's very hungry this year. I think he's healthy now, so I'm just looking forward to him helping our team out."

Newton went unsigned for months after the Carolina Panthers released him in March due to apparent concerns about shoulder and foot injuries that caused him to miss 16 games over the last two seasons. But the 31-year-old already has been working out with his new Patriots wide receivers and seems eager to prove his doubters wrong this season.

As for Gilmore: The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year is putting in the work as he prepares to deal with Newton in practices this season.

Patrick Mahomes sets sights on Tom Brady's Patriots Super Bowl record

Patrick Mahomes sets sights on Tom Brady's Patriots Super Bowl record

Not one; not two; not three...

Patrick Mahomes guided the Kansas City Chiefs to a Super Bowl title in just his third NFL season and was rewarded this offseason with the richest contract in North American sports, a 10-year deal worth a total of more than $500 million.

The Chiefs quarterback has lofty goals for those next 10 years -- one of which includes catching the GOAT.

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During an interview with ESPN over the weekend from the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, Mahomes admitted he has his sights set on matching Tom Brady's six Super Bowl championships with the New England Patriots, the most of any player in NFL history.

“I don’t know if there is a number," Mahomes told ESPN's Nicole Briscoe. "Obviously, you try and chase greatness and Tom has six. I'm going to try and do whatever I can to get to that number."

"I understand how hard that is, how it was a one-of-a-kind thing for Tom to be able to get to nine Super Bowls and win six of them. I'm just going to go about the process every single day of trying to make myself better and do whatever I can to make the Kansas City Chiefs better."

The 24-year-old Mahomes technically is on pace with Brady: The current Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB won his first title with New England at age 24. That said, Brady didn't win his sixth championship until his 19th NFL season at age 41, and that was while playing for the greatest coach in NFL history on arguably the greatest modern dynasty in professional sports.

Mahomes might as well set lofty goals, though: He's already won NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP awards and is the league's best quarterback on a Chiefs team returning much of its Super Bowl roster.

Mahomes has a very long way to go to reach Brady's level of success, but his comments are another reminder that the ex-Patriots QB has set the standard for greatness.

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