Bill Belichick addresses Cam Newton's thoughts on Patriots exit

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Belichick reacts to Newton being 'bamboozled' by COVID absence originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Cam Newton had plenty to get off his chest Friday, including his feelings about a five-day absence from the New England Patriots due to a "misunderstanding" over COVID tests taken away from the team facility.

"I crossed all the lines, I checked all the boxes, I dotted all my Is, then to find out that I had to sit out," Newton said in a YouTube interview with his father, Cecil.

"... That's when I kind of felt bamboozled, because I'm like, 'Y'all told me to go!'"

Curran: How Mac Jones beat out Newton for starting job

The Patriots indeed gave Newton permission to travel to Atlanta to seek a second opinion on his foot. So, where was the disconnect? Head coach Bill Belichick was asked about Newton's comments Monday morning on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show."

"Yeah, I think we’ve already covered all that," Belichick said.

"Look, I have nothing but respect for Cam and everything he did here. We said that after he was released and my feelings toward Cam have not changed."

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Shortly after the Patriots surprisingly released Newton on Aug. 31, Belichick praised Newton's work ethic, noting that the 32-year-old QB gave the team "everything (he had)." 

But New England felt confident enough in rookie Mac Jones to not keep Newton on the roster, a decision that appeared to be validated by Jones' strong effort in his NFL debut Sunday.

Newton is still a free agent following his release, and while Belichick respects the veteran quarterback, you probably won't hear him say much more about his erstwhile starter.