There was no shortage of Patriots-related headlines on Tuesday. As the league saw all of its teams cut down their rosters from 80 players to 53, New England made the most stunning move of the day by releasing quarterback Cam Newton. The team also placed All Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore on the PUP list, meaning he'll miss the first six games of the regular season. Lost in all that hoopla, however, was a tweet by former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel.
In the midst of all this Patriots news coming down the wire, Samuel floated out a tweet where he said head coach Bill Belichick was "just another coach" without Tom Brady as his quarterback. Naturally, that garnered a response on social media as Belichick -- similar to Brady -- is widely considered the greatest of all-time at his position.
A day later, Samuel -- who played five seasons in New England under Belichick -- appeared on ESPN's First Take to further explain his reasoning for not holding his former coach in higher regard.
"It is what it is," Samuel said. "He hasn't shown that he is a great coach -- to me -- because he had the greatest player of all time."
He added: "In my head, this is a competition between Tom Brady and Belichick. ... Tom Brady has already shown that he can win wherever he goes. Through adversity, through a pandemic, getting kicked off fields, barely having any practice, I didn't expect him to win the Super Bowl and he won the Super Bowl. Now, what I'm saying is, anyone can coach Tom and win a Super Bowl. Now, [Belichick] will have to show -- in my eyes -- in order to be great in my opinion, you have to show you can do that without [Brady]."
Samuel was then pressed a bit with the hosts citing Belichick's résumé without Brady -- two Super Bowl titles as the Giants defensive coordinator and an 11-5 record without Brady (ACL) in 2008.
"Like it said, we're talking about the word 'great' here," he replied. "I think people use the word great and throw it around like it's just another word. To be great, you have to do some special things. You can't just do it with one situation at one team."
Samuel did suggest that he and Belichick used to butt heads during his tenure with the Patriots but also said that "there's no beef" between them.
"Don't get it twisted, me and coach are fine," he said. "We cool. He's competitive like me. ... He'd tell you the same thing."
Well, with Mac Jones now solidified as New England's quarterback, Belichick will have an opportunity to change Samuel's mind as soon as the 2021 season if he and the Patriots can immediately jump back into playoff contention.
The Mac Jones era in New England has begun following the stunning release of Cam Newton. How will the rookie fare this season and what does it mean for the rest of the Patriots' players? Download the CBS Sports app to find out! Plus, get insight from our resident Patriots insider, Tyler Sullivan. If you already have the CBS Sports app, make sure to pick the Patriots as your favorite team for up-to-the-minute news.