NFL Notebook: Patriots send Newton packing

Profile Picture: Andrew Champagne

September 3rd, 2021

We’re officially less than a week away from the opening kickoff of the 2021-22 National Football League season. There’s plenty of electricity in the air, and with that comes several important news items we’ll need to dissect in this week’s notebook. Let’s take a look!

Newton Released by Patriots

The New England Patriots officially made it Mac Jones’s team earlier this week, when the club cut quarterback Cam Newton.

Once one of the biggest stars in the game, the 32-year-old Newton is now a free agent and will likely need to be a backup on another depth chart this season. Meanwhile, Jones, a rookie out of Alabama, will lead the New England offense into battle, and his first test as the starter comes against the Miami Dolphins.

Barkley Ramps Up Practice

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley went through his first contact practice earlier this week as he attempts to prepare for a Week 1 return.

Barkley’s 2020 season ended abruptly after an injury in the campaign’s second week, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the star could be ready to go for the 2021 opener against Denver.

Mark Vital Goes Back to Football

This is a heck of a story. Mark Vital has spent the last four college basketball seasons with Baylor University, and he helped lead the Bears to a national title this past spring. He then suited up for the Portland Trail Blazers during the Summer League, but decided to transition to football, which he has not played since middle school. He did, however, have interest from at least one club, as he signed a deal to join the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.


Rest In Peace, Keith McCants

We’ll end on a somber note, as Keith McCants was found dead Thursday after an apparent drug overdose. McCants was selected fourth overall in the 1990 NFL Draft after a stellar collegiate career at Alabama, but he was out of the league after just five years.

Younger fans may recognize him from his appearance in Broke, an ESPN documentary that chronicled the financial struggles faced by many athletes during and after their playing days.