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Odell Beckham Jr. shoots down Patriots trade speculation, reiterates he has ‘unfinished business’ with Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. and Cam Newton have trained together this offseason, so Newton agreeing to a one-year contract with New England on Sunday naturally sparked speculation Beckham will want the Browns to trade him to the Patriots.

Beckham, however, addressed the notion Monday night on Twitter by shooting it down twice.

Comedian Bob Menery tweeted one of those OBJ-Newton workout videos and wrote, ”@obj to New England? Hmmmm. Welcome to New England Cam! #doyourjob.”

Beckham responded by tweeting, “Lol no sir boss! But y’all got my brother, wishin nothin but the best and LUV.”

Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Alex Wood tweeted, ”@obj to the Patriots before the season is done. BANK IT!”

Beckham replied, “U can find me in The LAND homie! We got unfinished business.”

Lol no sir boss! But y’all got my brother , wishin nothin but the best and LUV https://t.co/7tGiuvxJsp

U can find me in The LAND homie! We got unfinished business https://t.co/sqnWRGwLGT

Whether it’s playful or serious, trade speculation always seems to follow Beckham, who arrived in Cleveland last year in a blockbuster deal with the New York Giants.

The idea Beckham could be one-and-done with the Browns ramped up late last season until the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver declared on Dec. 18, “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll be here. We’re going to figure this thing out. It’s just too special to leave.”

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Beckham didn’t achieve the individual or team success he had hoped for in his first season with the Browns, who went 6-10 in 2019 and made another regime change in the offseason.

He appeared in all 16 games while playing through a core muscle injury and caught 74 passes for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns on 133 targets.

Beckham, who’s under contract through the 2023 season, had surgery on Jan. 21. New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said last week OBJ is “free and clear” and “100%” ready for training camp. Veterans are scheduled to report to camp on July 28, barring a delay related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This much is certain: Beckham looked sharp as he ran routes and caught passes from Newton in a video the quarterback posted on Instagram on June 13. And Beckham renewed his commitment to the Browns on Monday instead of flirting with speculation about him uniting with the former NFL MVP under the guidance of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

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Answering 10 big questions about Cam Newton’s move: Our predictions

Three months after being released by the rebuilding Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton is headed to the New England Patriots. The 31-year-old quarterback and 2015 MVP reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Patriots, who moved on from Tom Brady this offseason.

Newton, who continues to rehab from a December foot surgery, had a physical in Atlanta on March 23, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. He passed the physical and is healthy, with both his right shoulder — which he injured in 2018 — and left foot “checking out well,” a source told Schefter. Newton will compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for the starting job in New England.

What was the reaction inside the league to Newton heading to the Patriots? Is he locked in as their Week 1 starter? And are they the favorites — again — to win the AFC East? We asked 10 ESPN NFL reporters and analysts to answer 10 questions on the move:

Assuming Newton is healthy, do you expect him to be the Patriots’ 2020 starter?

Mike Reiss, Patriots reporter: He won’t be handed the job — that’s generally not the way it works in New England — but he should be the odds-on favorite based on his résumé and big-game experience.

Bill Belichick often says it’s up to players to determine their roles, and for Newton to win the job, his first step will be to immerse himself in the Patriots’ hard-driving culture that requires players to check their egos at the door and put the team first. Then there will be an acclimating to new terminology in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ system. So there is no guarantee. But given how his career résumé stacks up against Stidham and Hoyer, it seems fair to say it’s now Newton’s job to lose.

Does this mean the Patriots don’t like Stidham as much as we thought, or was this deal just too good to pass up?

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Sources: QB Newton joins Patriots on 1-year deal

  • Covered Patriots since 1997
  • Joined ESPN in 2009

Former NFL MVP Cam Newton has reached an agreement on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the New England Patriots, league sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter. ‬

‪Newton now will step into the mix to try to help replace former Patriots QB Tom Brady, who left to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency. The Patriots did not select a quarterback in April’s draft, with 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and 11-year veteran Brian Hoyer atop the depth chart.

A source familiar with the Patriots’ thinking said the agreement with Newton was appealing to the team as a low-risk, high-reward situation, factoring in Newton’s health, modest contract, and New England’s transition at quarterback without Brady.

The Carolina Panthers released Newton, the No. 1 overall selection in 2011, on March 24, ending their nine-year relationship.

Carolina moved on from its one-time franchise quarterback after agreeing to a contract with free agent Teddy Bridgewater to become the team’s new starter.

Newton, who continues to rehab from foot surgery, had a physical in Atlanta on March 23 that was coordinated by the Panthers and his agency, sources told Schefter.

Newton, who turned 31 in May, passed the physical and is healthy, with both his shoulder and foot “checking out well,” a source told Schefter. “He is hungrier than ever and eager for the next opportunity.”

In New England, where head coach Bill Belichick often says that players determine their roles based on performance, Newton will have to beat out Stidham and Hoyer, who had previously been leading on-field workouts this offseason. The Patriots also currently have rookie free agents J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke on the quarterback depth chart.

Caesars Sportsbook moved the Patriots from 25-1 to 20-1 to win the Super Bowl with the addition of Newton, and from 10-1 to 9-1 to win the AFC.

Newton was the NFL MVP in 2015 when he accounted for 45 total touchdowns in the regular season and led the Panthers to an appearance in the Super Bowl, a 24-10 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Panthers have been to the playoffs only once since then, a wild-card loss to the New Orleans Saints in 2017.

Newton, who holds most of Carolina’s career passing records, missed 14 games last season with a Lisfranc injury and the final two games of the 2018 season with a shoulder injury that also required surgery.

Overall, he has passed for 29,041 yards with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions and has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 touchdowns.

ESPN’s David Newton contributed to this report.

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