Appearing on The Greg Hill Show Tuesday morning, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick gave his first expansive answer on Cam Newton following his release last week.
“It’s always difficult when you have to reduce your roster," he said. "A lot of guys that worked hard. A lot of guys that performed well and had either good years for us, or good careers. I respect all those things, but each year is its own year and I have to do what I feel like is best for the football team and so regards to every decision, that’s what I try to do. It’s always tough to tell guys who have worked hard and have given you all they had that you’re not able to keep them.
“I have nothing but positive thoughts and feelings for Cam. He came in here, he worked hard. He gave us everything we had. Right now, our future is going to be Mac [Jones] at quarterback, and that is where we’re going to go.”
In his press conference the day after his release, Belichick didn't even say Newton's name and did not give any insight on the move.
Was keeping him around as a backup an option?
“Yeah, there’s always options and a lot of different things that you give, especially this time of year with so many players available before they all hit the practice squad," Belichick said. "But, yeah, in the end we did what we felt was best.”
Newton still remains a free agent.