The Patriots made the decision to release the former MVP on Tuesday afternoon as part of the team’s roster cuts. Immediately after the news broke, fans wondered what led to the decision.
Newton isn’t vaccinated, which led to problems late last week. On Wednesday morning, head coach Bill Belichick was asked point-blank if Newton’s vaccination status had anything to do with the decision.
Belichick made it clear Newton wasn’t released due to his vaccination status.
“No. You guys keep talking about that. But I would point out that…the number of players and coaches and staff members that have been infected by COVID in training camp who have been vaccinated is a pretty high number. So I wouldn’t lose sight of that.”
Here's a look at Bill Belichick's two answers (fully transcribed) about Cam Newton and what role being unvaccinated played in his release. pic.twitter.com/4pSgq2w4PY
— Henry McKenna (@McKennAnalysis) September 1, 2021
“Your implication that vaccination solves every problem – I would say that has not been substantiated, based on what’s happening in training camp this year,” Belichick later added.
Newton’s vaccination status may not have played a part, but one thing is certain: he’s off the team. That leaves rookie quarterback Mac Jones as the starter heading into the 2021 campaign.
After a strong training camp and preseason, the No. 15 overall pick looks poised to lead the Patriots back to a potential playoff berth.
Meanwhile, Newton will look for a new team.