AFC Notes: Jets, Patriots, Cam Newton

Cam Newton

ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio said on Thursday Night’s NBC pregame show that although free-agent QB Cam Newton still wants to play, one NFL head coach is skeptical that Newton would accept a backup role. 

“It’s been very quiet over the last nine days since the Patriots cut him,” Florio said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “He wants to play. He knows that this is essentially his last chance. One coach I spoke to said he’s either at or near the end already. He won’t be a backup quarterback — very few franchise quarterbacks ever want to accept understudy duty late in their career.”

Florio questions whether a major injury at the quarterback position will push a team toward Newton. 

“The question is, will there be a major injury? Will there be a starting quarterback opening that comes up during the season? Will they call Cam Newton, or will they go with one of the quarterbacks they already have on the roster?”

  • Newton recalled being “shocked” during his meeting with HC Bill Belichick and senior advisor Matt Patricia about his release from New England: “They told me they were going to give the reins to Mac. And I was like, ‘Ok, cool.’ … I mean, we were all shocked. It was all uncomfortable for everybody.” (Andrew Callahan)


Jets WR Corey Davis said he views himself as a No. 1 receiver and is grateful for his opportunity in New York. 

“I know that I’m a No. 1 receiver in this league. It’s great that [the Jets] saw that during free agency,” Davis said, via DJ Bien-Aime II of the New York Daily News. “I’m ready for it. I’ve always thought of myself as a No. 1 receiver. I have to go out there and prove it to the league.”

Jets’ rookie QB Zach Wilson is excited to play alongside Davis and is focused on helping him “make plays.” 

“He’s a great receiver and I’m excited that we have him on our team,” Wilson said. “My job is how can I get the ball into these guys’ hands, especially Corey, let him go out there and make plays.”

Wilson added that Davis is leading by example and shows high effort in every play. 

“Just the way that he approaches the game and the way that he just does everything right,” Wilson said. “And he never complains about anything, you’re never calling on him in meetings for not giving enough effort on a play or something like that. Guys see that and everyone is just like, ‘Geez, look at Corey,’ this guy’s always doing the right thing. He’s obviously physically blessed. He’s got good size too and he catches the ball well and knows how to run routes, but I think it’s just his demeanor and the way he approaches the game.”

Davis is aware that facing Panthers’ cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Jaycee Horn will be difficult given they are both multifaceted players.  

Both of them are very physical. They’re fast with good speed, good ball skills, and they break on the ball quick,” Davis said. “So, like I said, it’s gonna take some good ball from us to go out there and handle business.”


Patriots OC Josh McDaniels is confident that TE Hunter Henry and TE Jonnu Smith will be ready for Week 1 after each missed chunks of practice time during training camp and the preseason.

“I think both of them have worked extremely hard,” McDaniels said, via Zack Cox. “I feel very confident in both players’ aptitude and understanding of our system and our operation and what we do offensively and what their roles are in it. That’s because they’re very diligent about the work they put in. They prepare very well. So I’m very confident in that….

“I have no doubts about those two players in terms of their ability to go out there and perform. They’ll both be ready to go.”

Smith said both he and Henry have embraced playing with each other.

“It’s been great, just us feeding off each other’s energy,” Smith said. “Working, pushing each other, on the practice field, in the weight room. Two alpha males, man, just being able to give each other a push.

“The greatest part of it is that’s my guy, and I’m his guy. We’ve got each other’s back. I’ve got his back. I know he’s got my back. So it’s definitely good to have a guy like that around. His playmaking ability is something that we can definitely bring to the table. Part of my game will rub off on him, part of his game will rub off on me and we just help each other get better.”

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