Jalen, Meet Cam: Eagles QB Hurts Shares Special Moment With Newton

PHILADELPHIA — When Patriots kicker

Quinn Nordin was practicing his field goals during Tuesday’s workout, quarterbacks

Cam Newton of New England and

Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia stood together about 15 yards back of the action. The pair chatted, just the two of them, as Nordin drilled three of his four attempts.

Later that evening, Hurts shared via social media a photo of him listening to Newton. He wrote in the caption: “[Cam] helped pave the way for a guy like me. Much love and respect OG.”

This week’s Patriots-Eagles joint practices marked the first time Hurts, now in his second NFL season, has ever met Newton in person. The two have spoken previously, though. Hurts recalled a conversation from his college days, when he was deciding where he should transfer after leaving Alabama. Newton had called on behalf of

Gus Malzahn , Auburn’s coach at the time.

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Related: What to look for in Thursday’s Patriots-Eagles preseason game

Hurts ended up choosing Oklahoma, though he and Newton maintained their connection.

“I’ve also had communication with him just from an older athlete,” Hurts said. “He’s a legendary player. The things that he’s done in college and in the league. I watched him a lot growing up. Being able to talk to him, being able to have a relationship with him, and meet him in person for the first time, it was great.”

The feelings are mutual.

“Hurts is my little bro, man,” Newton said. “For me to see him out here today, it’s always love and always going to be love between us.”

Newton said he watched Hurts play in college, and even heard buzz about him at the high school level because Newton attended junior college at Blinn, not far from where Hurts grew up in the Houston area.

Cam Newton made sure to connect with Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Cam Newton made sure to connect with Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts.Matt Rourke/Associated Press

For Newton, Hurts is just one of the several young, mobile quarterbacks he’s had the opportunity to form a bond with — and another reminder of his impact across the league. Last year, multiple opponents —

Lamar Jackson ,

Kyler Murray , and

Deshaun Watson — all spoke glowingly about Newton’s influence.

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“There’s a lot of guys that I admire from afar,” Newton said. “And just to see the state of the NFL, having so much athleticism at the quarterback position, it’s something to smile about.”

Madden men

The Patriots’ highest-ranked offensive player in the latest edition of Madden is tight end

Hunter Henry , with a rating of 87. The offensive line takes the next three spots, with right tackle

Trent Brown and guard

Shaq Mason both receiving 86s and center

David Andrews earning an 85. Tight end

Jonnu Smith rounds out the top five with an 81.

Related: Volin: Tom Brady is having the time of his life but hasn’t lost his competitive edge

The offensive line, when healthy, grades as one of New England’s strongest position groups. Joining Brown, Mason, and Andrews in the starting lineup are left tackle

Isaiah Wynn and guard

Michael Onwenu . Tackle

Justin Herron and center

Ted Karras are also reliable depth pieces.

On defense, cornerback

Stephon Gilmore was unsurprisingly New England’s highest-ranked player, at 97. Gilmore was previously a member of the exclusive Madden “99 Club.”

Safety

Devin McCourty (92), linebacker

Dont’a Hightower (87), cornerback

J.C. Jackson (85), and cornerback

Jonathan Jones (83) complete the top five.

With Gilmore sidelined amid a contract dispute, and the departures of safety

Patrick Chung and cornerback

Jason McCourty , the Patriots secondary isn’t as deep as it once was. But the group still boasts talent with McCourty, Jackson, and Jones. Safety

Adrian Phillips , who signed with the Patriots in 2020, has been a training camp standout, too.

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Stephon Gilmore has the highest Madden rating of any player on the New England roster.
Stephon Gilmore has the highest Madden rating of any player on the New England roster.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Elsewhere in Madden ratings, Newton received a 76, while rookie

Mac Jones got a 71.

Source : https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/08/18/sports/meeting-cam-newton-person-was-special-moment-eagles-qb-jalen-hurts/

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