- The New England Patriots released quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday.
- Newton started for the Patriots in 2020 but has been usurped for the starting job by rookie Mac Jones.
- With his release, it’s unclear where Newton will land for the 2021 season.
The New England Patriots have released quarterback Cam Newton. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones will take over the starting job for the Patriots heading into the 2021 season.
Through the preseason, Newton and Jones were in competition for the Patriots starting job, and head coach Bill Belichick had told reporters as recently as Sunday that a final decision had not been made yet as to who start when New England opens its season against the Dolphins.
Newton completed two of his five passes for 10 yards in the Patriots preseason finale against the Giants on Sunday. In the days leading up to that game, Newton missed several days of practice due to what the team said was a “misunderstanding” of COVID protocols.
Newton’s release, first reported by Jim McBride at the Boston Globe, leaves his NFL future uncertain. Although it’s not completely surprising that he lost the job to Jones, his release is a shock, since it means he will not even back Jones up through the season. The Patriots still have quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham on their roster to do so, though.
On Instagram, Newton said fans shouldn’t feel bad about his release.
—Lucy Burdge (@LucilleBurdge) August 31, 2021
Newton is now in a tough spot with less than two weeks until the start of the 2021 season.
A few teams in the league have questionable quarterback rooms, however. Houston is set to start Tyrod Taylor in the presumed absence of Deshaun Watson, who is facing 22 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct. The Atlanta Falcons don’t have a firm backup for Matt Ryan yet, leaning on either rookie Feleipe Franks or journeyman Josh Rosen as the second man on the depth chart. These two teams, among others, are potential options for Newton.
Still, it’s unclear if Newton is interested in being a backup. After the 2020 season, he made his feelings on the matter pretty clear.
“When I look at the whole situation, if you’re asking me if I want to be a backup? Hell no,” Newton said, per The Providence Journal.