The news of Cam Newton’s exit from the New England Patriots took many by surprise. We’re not too far removed from when Newton was considered as the default starter ahead of Mac Jones for his rookie campaign.

But now that the Patriots have let go of the former MVP, rumors have started to trickle out about the Cam Newton experience in New England.

Just recently, former Patriots player Rob Ninkovich revealed what his “inside sources” told him about Newton being unfamiliar with the playbook compared to Mac Jones.

“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” claims the former Patriots linebacker. “Mac was having less mental errors and having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute (drill), we didn’t see him run any no-huddle. You have to run no-huddle. That’s vital.”

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But according to a source from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, Cam Newton’s vaccination status indeed played a big role in the Patriots’ decision to let him go.

Via NBC Sports:

“The source believes that a bunch of former Patriots players (such as Ninkovich) had a hard time with Tom Brady leaving and Cam Newton replacing Brady. Also, pointing to potential red herrings like playbook issues or distractions from music being played at practice cover up the basic truth. Cam was the starter until he failed to comply with a fairly basic aspect of the rule applicable to unvaccinated players. Thus, the decision to make him not the starter flowed directly from his vaccination status and the ever-present possibility that he won’t be available to play or to practice.”

The claims come just days after Bill Belichick cleared the air on the matter. The Patriots coach answered with a resounding “no” on whether Cam Newton’s alleged status as an unvaccinated player was a factor in the decision.