Yet the writing was clearly on the wall from the moment the team drafted Mac Jones.
Bill Belichick never outright declared Newton the Week 1 starter and that too was a signal no one should have missed.
Ultimately, Newton has a right to be frustrated.
But it would be a surprise if he too did not see this coming.
Mac Jones is QB1 in New England.
— ESPN (@espn) August 31, 2021
A Concerning Report
Anyone not in the locker room coming up with claims about players deserves a healthy bit of skepticism.
Former Patriot Rob Ninkovich saying Jones was helping Newton with the playbook is alarming, but once again, we have to be wary of such a claim.
Rob Ninkovich saying that he heard from inside the building that Mac Jones was helping Cam Newton learn the playbook is mind blowing
— Boston Connor (@BostonConnr) September 4, 2021
It would be odd to think Jones was helping him learn it in general, given Newton had already been in the system.
Maybe it was more along the lines of reminding him of certain aspects and nuances.
However, maybe it is all true and that is why Newton was let go.
Or rather, that is why Jones was seen as the best choice to be the starter.
This report seemingly came from the team so rumblings had to be going on in the locker room about Jones’ abilities compared to Newton’s.
But just the fact Jones was taken in the first round this year proved he was going to get a chance sooner than later.
Cutting Newton now may benefit him as opposed to benching him after a game or two.
A Fresh Start For Both Sides
Newton was always an odd fit in New England and it is hard to picture him buying in to the “Patriot Way.”
That even became too much for Tom Brady.
If the Patriots knew Jones was their guy, it was the proper move to outright release Newton.
The team is able to move forward in a new direction, while Newton has a chance to sign anywhere around the league.
He may even opt to take some time and see if starting opportunities arise, as opposed to locking into a backup job right now.
There was just no way Newton was going to be the long-term guy in New England.
First came the losing record in 2020, followed by the drafting of Jones, further followed by him not being declared the true starter at any point.
Given his age, a fresh start where he is wanted seems like the best option.