Newton was surprised when Patriots came calling
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Cam Newton was caught off guard when the New England Patriots showed interest in his services, and he initially questioned his fit with notoriously inexpressive head coach Bill Belichick.

"I got a call and my agent hit me - no cap, I was working out - and he was like, 'Hey man, we just got interest from a team,'" the eccentric quarterback said during a roundtable discussion with Odell Beckham Jr. and others. "I'm like, 'OK, cool, who?' He was like, 'New England.' I said, 'Hold on, how's me and Belichick going to mesh?' ... Because it's like perception."

After lingering on the open market for over three months, Newton signed an incentive-laden one-year contract with the Patriots in early July. The former MVP failed to garner much interest as a free agent following a nine-year run with the Carolina Panthers.

"Watching you, and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no, like, 'How is it going to work?'" Beckham responded. "For me, all he want to do is put you in a place to succeed. I'm happy to see it."

While he is expected to slide into the starting lineup, Newton will still need to prove himself in training camp against fellow quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer.

Whoever gets the nod in Week 1 will be the second quarterback other than Tom Brady to start a Patriots season opener since 2001. Jimmy Garoppolo filled in for Brady in 2016 while the latter was suspended for Deflategate.

"What he was, what he is, is great, needs no even talking about it," Newton said of Brady. "But one thing about it, though: Coach (Josh) McDaniels, you're able to call some stuff that you ain't never been able to call now. You getting a dog. You getting one of these ticked-off dogs too that's like, bruh.

"And I'm looking at the schedule and I'm like, 'Who we play? That team passed on me! OK, that team passed on me! They could've came and got me. They hollered at me.' I even asked my agents, like, 'Hey, yo, so what's up with - nah, man. The agent ... he was like, 'Well we gotta wait to -' it was just all type of issues."

Newton is coming off two consecutive injury-plagued years, but he was playing some of the best football of his career in the first half of the 2018 season.

Newton was surprised when Patriots came calling
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