Chances are you've heard the rumors about the Patriots signing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton -- and all the pundits insisting he's not a fit in New England.
Devin McCourty has a message for those pundits.
During a recent appearance on FS1's "First Things First," the Patriots safety pushed back on the common perception that only a certain type of player can thrive in head coach Bill Belichick's system.
"Guys come into New England sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. ... Cam Newton is a great player, a proven winner — to just say he wouldn't work in New England, I don't think that's correct." — Devin McCourty | @McCourtyTwins pic.twitter.com/lAX4EELujq— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) April 17, 2020
"Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t," McCourty said. “But to just predict guys’ personalities won’t work in New England, or 'He's not a Bill type of guy,’ I don’t think that’s true."
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McCourty used the example of cornerback Aqib Talib, who had an unsavory reputation when he left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on sour terms but in McCourty's view was "one of the best teammates I've ever played with" when he arrived to the Patriots.
"Actually, when he came to New England, he was like, 'I don't get why people complain about this. I love this,' " McCourty said of Talib.
Newton left the Carolina Panthers on similarly poor terms when they released him in late March. While some believe the talented quarterback wouldn't fit in Belichick's system -- ex-NFL general manager Scott Pioli likened Newton and Belichick to "oil and water" -- McCourty isn't ruling anything out.
"I think Cam Newton is a great player, a proven winner," McCourty added. "So, to just say, 'He wouldn’t work in New England,' I don’t think that’s correct."
McCourty isn't necessarily advocating for the Patriots to sign Newton as they search for Tom Brady's replacement. But it appears he's not dismissing the possibility, either.