Patriots

Reggie Wayne reveals why short time with Patriots was 'best job ever'

Reggie Wayne reveals why short time with Patriots was 'best job ever'

Reggie Wayne wasn't an employee of the New England Patriots for very long, but it certainly wasn't a waste of time.

Wayne was a free agent in 2015 after a brilliant 14-year career with the Indianapolis Colts, who drafted the wide receiver in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft. He signed with the Patriots in the preseason that year, and included in his contract was a $450,000 signing bonus.

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The veteran wideout ultimately decided to retire before Week 1 of the regular season. Wayne offered to give back his signing bonus, but Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told him that wasn't needed. As you might imagine, Wayne was very appreciative of the gesture.

“I went up to him and I said, ‘Hey, this is what it is. I know got a signing bonus. I’ll give it back, no biggie,” Wayne said on the "Hellipod" podcast with NFL Media's Dan Hellie. ”Bill Belichick told me to keep it, man. Told me to keep it. I’m like, ‘Hey, you ain’t got to bend my arm back twice.’ He told me to keep it. And that was love, man. And I always had respect for him. I’ve heard people and seen stuff that he’s done on camera of his respect for me, and maybe that was just his sign of appreciation. We had a lot of battles against that team, so he told me to keep it. We kept it in the bank. I appreciate it. Hey, the best job ever.”

Earning $450,000-plus for a couple weeks of work is pretty good. That really does sound like the best job ever.

Wayne's also correct when he says the Colts had a ton of battles against the Patriots. Whether it was the many memorable regular season games or the classic playoff matchups in 2003, 2004 and 2006, Wayne had a front row seat to one of the best rivalries in league history.

It didn't work out with the Patriots, but it sounds like Wayne left with plenty of respect for Belichick and the organization.

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

Cam Newton is wasting no time getting to know his New England Patriots wide receivers.

The new Patriots quarterback, who officially signed a one-contract with the team Wednesday, linked up with wideout Mohamed Sanu last week for a few throwing sessions in Los Angeles.

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This Wednesday, it was N'Keal Harry's turn to catch passes from Newton, according to Boston.com, which obtained video of the duo's L.A. workout from EBA Sports.

The video shows Newton meeting Harry for the first time as a member of the Patriots before throwing the second-year receiver a handful of passes.

Newton and Harry worked out together for about two hours and were later joined by Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., per Boston.com.

Next Pats Podcast: How can Pats maximize Harry's talent? | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Harry has been working hard this offseason to improve his game after a disappointing rookie campaign. The Patriots' 2019 first-round pick appeared in just seven games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, catching 12 passes on 24 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

It's encouraging to see the 22-year-old on the practice field with Newton, who's aiming to bounce back from his own foot injury that limited him to two games in 2019.

Newton will have to beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, and it appears he's eager to get started while developing chemistry with his new pass-catchers.

Deion Branch 'excited' to see what Patriots offense looks like with Cam Newton

Deion Branch 'excited' to see what Patriots offense looks like with Cam Newton

The New England Patriots offense could look very different during the 2020 NFL season, and not just because Tom Brady is no longer the team's starting quarterback.

Not only will the Patriots enter a season with a new starting QB for the first time since 2001, the actual scheme and identity of the offense might take on a totally new form. The reason for that is the arrival of veteran quarterback Cam Newton, who the Patriots recently signed to a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $7.5 million.

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Newton is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks the league has ever seen. His passing ability is impressive, no doubt, but he really puts pressure on opposing defenses with his legs. The 31-year-old veteran has ran for 500-plus yards in six of his nine pro seasons, and his 58 career rushing touchdowns are the most by a quarterback since he entered the league in 2011.

Former Patriots wide receiver and Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch is pretty excited about the Newton addition for New England, and he can't wait to see how the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, devises a game plan to maximize Newton's unique skill set.

“I expect big things,” Branch said in a recent interview on CBS Sports Radio's "The Zach Gelb Show". “I’m just excited to see what Josh McDaniels can come up with, with this type of athlete. He’s had, with Tom, the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. That’s the easy part. But the Patriots have never had a dual-threat quarterback such as Cam Newton at the helm. So I'm excited to see -- Josh is a brilliant offensive coordinator. This is going to be exciting to see what these guys can create, and what they can come up with. If they can make this work — just to see what it looks like. I'm excited for him. I know Cam is excited for another opportunity."

Next Pats Podcast: How can Pats maximize Harry's skills? | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

McDaniels has done a tremendous job in New England. The Patriots' ability to change their identity and offensive gameplan based on the upcoming week's opponent is quite impressive. They've been able to win games in a lot of different ways, whether that means throwing the ball 40 times or bullying defenses with a power running game.

Newton brings a skill set we've rarely seen in the Patriots offense. His ability to throw the ball with success and also take off into the open field like a running back gives McDaniels a ton of different plays and packages to run that the team hasn't used much in recent years.

It remains to be seen if Newton will be able to bounce back from last season's injury woes and rediscover the form that made him a top 15 QB on a consistent basis, but watching him in the Patriots offense will certainly be among the most compelling storylines of the 2020 season.