Panthers allow Cam Newton to seek trade; could Patriots be interested?

Panthers allow Cam Newton to seek trade; could Patriots be interested?

Another big-name quarterback might be on the move.

The Carolina Panthers have granted Cam Newton permission to seek a trade, general manager Marty Hurney confirmed Tuesday.

"We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts," Hurney said in a statement.

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Newton is entering the final year of his five-year, $103.8 million contract with the Panthers-- he carries a $21.1 million cap hit for 2020 -- and long had been rumored as a potential trade chip this offseason.

But the timing of Carolina's announcement is notable, considering Tom Brady announced hours earlier he's leaving the New England Patriots in free agency.

So, will the Patriots pursue a trade for Newton as Brady's successor? There have been no reports linking Newton and New England, but head coach Bill Belichick likely will exhaust all resources as he decides whether to move forward with second-year QB Jarrett Stidham or add a more experienced arm via trade or free agency.

In any case, there should be healthy market for Newton; ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Tuesday the Los Angeles Chargers (who also are in the mix for Brady) may target the 30-year-old QB.

Newton is a three-time Pro Bowler and 2015 NFL MVP who owns a laundry list of Panthers franchise records. Health is an issue as Newton enters his 10th NFL season, however: He played just two games in 2019 before suffering a season-ending left foot injury that required offseason surgery.

UPDATE (11:45 a.m. ET): Newton doesn't appear to be pleased with the Panthers' announcement, as the QB claimed the Panthers "forced" him into seeking a trade in an Instagram comment.

Either way, it sounds like Newton isn't long for Carolina.

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Patriots' Julian Edelman sounds eager to move on from Tom Brady questions

Patriots' Julian Edelman sounds eager to move on from Tom Brady questions

Julian Edelman and Tom Brady were inseperable for much of the past decade, so it's fair to wonder how the New England Patriots wide reciever feels about losing his longtime quarterback to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It's also fair of Edelman to want to put the Brady era behind him.

The veteran wide receiver gamely fielded questions about Brady in a video conference Monday but seemed intent on spinning the narrative forward rather than harping on the QB's absence.

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"Obviously it's a little different (not having Brady around), but you've got to move on and understand this is a business," Edelman said. "You wish him well. That's when you instantly start thinking about what you have to do to prepare yourself to go out and contribute and help the team for the upcoming year.

"We've played a lot of ball together. I love him to death, but the train keeps moving, as it will when I'm not playing here or something. I mean, it always keeps going. So, we've got to worry about the people we have here."

Edelman and Brady won three Super Bowls together during their 11 seasons as teammates, and Brady was instrumental in Edelman's rise from converted college quarterback to Super Bowl MVP.

But reports have indicated the 34-year-old wide receiver is motivated to prove he's not just a product of his quarterback, and that motivation peeked through Monday.

"There's a lot of guys that are passionate for football," Edelman said. "Of course Tom has a passion that's a very big one. But he's moved on and he's somewhere else.

"We're worried about the passion of the players that are on this team right now, and I can tell you right now, there's a lot of guys that are very passionate and very hungry."

One of those players is new quarterback Cam Newton, who's expected to replace Brady as the Patriots' starter. Edelman and Newton linked up for workouts earlier this summer, so if he lamented the loss of his former QB, he didn't do so for long.

Patriots' Josh McDaniels raises notable strategy concern of games without fans

Patriots' Josh McDaniels raises notable strategy concern of games without fans

Bill Belichick isn't the only New England Patriots coach who leaves no stone unturned.

Among the many adjustments the Patriots will have to make this season, they may have to play games in empty stadiums, as the continued spread of COVID-19 could prevent fans from attending games in 2020.

New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was asked Friday how a fan-less atmosphere may change how he runs the offense, and he gave a pretty revealing answer.

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"If it's quieter, I think there's some things you probably have to protect," McDaniels told reporters in a video conference. "You can't change your language. It's like, if we know English, we can't teach them Spanish before Week 1.

"I think you probably will self-scout yourself a little bit more with the television copy (of the game film), because they have the mics all over the place. So, you have to be careful (about) how much of what you're saying is easily detectable. I think it's more about protecting yourself and not giving everything away week after week."

McDaniels makes a good point: A quiet stadium without fans means teams could eavesdrop on opposing offensive coordinators to listen to their play calls, either during the game or while watching the television replay on film.

Under normal circumstances, offensive coordinators usually cover their mouths with their play sheets to prevent teams from reading their lips, but that precaution might not be enough if an in-stadium microphone picks up what they're saying anyway.

It's unclear how McDaniels and other coordinators will guard themselves against this potential subterfuge, but it's no surprise that Bill Belichick's longtime coordinator is considering all scenarios entering an unprecedented season.