As long as Cam Newton is a free agent and the New England Patriots list Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer atop their quarterback depth chart, the rumors will persist.
But it appears Newton isn't one bit interested in joining a team like New England.
Here's what Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer wrote Wednesday about what the former Carolina Panthers quarterback is looking for in his new team:
For what it’s worth, Newton has told people that he’s not looking to go to a place as a firm No. 2 or in a mentoring type of role for a younger quarterback -- and for obvious reasons. He still believes he can play, and that he is a starter.
That certainly seems to rule out the Patriots.
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The team appears committed to Stidham as its 2020 starter, and even if Bill Belichick considered signing Newton to start as a "bridge" QB between Tom Brady and Stidham, it sounds like Newton wouldn't be interested in mentoring the 23-year-old Auburn product.
And yet, the Patriots still were the betting favorites to sign Newton as recently as June 15 and have been for much of the offseason. Newton to New England does make sense on paper: Despite missing 14 games last season due to a foot injury, the 31-year-old QB is a three-time Pro Bowler and former NFL MVP who would be a proven talent in a QB room lacking that.
The Patriots reportedly talked with Newton's camp earlier this spring, so that buzz wasn't necessarily unwarranted. Unless Newton changes his mindset, though, don't expect him to land in New England.