It’s official. Cam Newton is out the door and rookie Mac Jones will be taking over as the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots. It was starting to become a matter of “when” not “if”, but I don’t think anyone expected Bill Belichick to pull the trigger this soon. Most projections still had Cam as the week one starter.
Newton had a decent camp and played well in his preseason appearances, but so did Mac. And when a 32 year-old veteran is going neck and neck with a rookie who’s just starting his career, the edge goes to the younger guy with more upside. Not to mention Jones is more of a pocket passer, which is a much better fit for the Patriots offense.
I do believe that Cam Newton would have performed better this year than he did in 2020. More weapons, fans in the stands, etc. I’ll also say that outside of his play on the field, Cam was an absolute delight to have in New England. I’m disappointed that he never got to play in front of a crowd at Gillette. His personality was infectious, he was always smiling, he exhibited strong leadership qualities, got along great with his teammates and coaching staff, was always accountable, always said the right things. There wasn’t much to choose from as far as free agent quarterbacks last offseason, so there’s no reason to regret taking a chance on a former MVP who knows how to connect with the locker room.
Now the Newton experiment is over, and Belichick and company will be handing the keys over to their first-round draft pick. It feels like the page has finally been turned after the Brady era and we’re ready to start building towards our next run of success. Mac Jones certainly possesses the passing ability as well as all of the necessary intangibles that you look for in a franchise QB. Whether he’s ready to process the speed of a starting NFL defense remains to be seen. The Pats will kick off their season on 9/12 against the Dolphins in Foxboro.