Last week, no one knew for sure which team would draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
When we finally learned the answer to that question with the New England Patriots drafting him without even needing to trade up for him, the new question became: should Mac Jones start over Cam Newton in 2021?
The short answer to that question is no.
Cam Newton Is The Starting Quarterback
The Patriots signed Newton to a one-year deal and named him the starting quarterback.
Bill Belichick from last night/this morning: "Cam [Newton]'s our quarterback. Whatever position, whatever time Jarrett [Stidham] or Mac [Jones] are ready to challenge and compete, then we'll see how that goes. But right now, Mac, he's just got a lot of learning in front of him."
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) April 30, 2021
Newton had a challenging 2020 season with the Patriots.
Between contracting COVID-19, no preseason to get acclimated with his new team, and the amount of Patriots who opted out for COVID-19 reasons, the fact that the Patriots managed to win 7 games is a minor miracle.
The Patriots signed a slew of free agents, and in his second season, Newton should be better.
Keep The Pressure Off Mac Jones
If all goes well, Mac Jones will be the long-term franchise quarterback for the Patriots.
It is not necessary to rush him out on the field in another potentially COVID-19 impacted preseason when Cam Newton is there.
Though they should not do it, Patriots fans will inevitably compare Jones to Brady when he does step on the field as the starter.
Give him time to learn under Cam Newton and with the tutelage of Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniel.
In the good old days of football, developing a young quarterback was a long-term project that involved the rookie carrying the clipboard and absorbing everything on the sidelines.
Belichick probably has a finite amount of patience, but he needs to use every ounce of it in this situation.
All Bets Are Off If…
Starting Cam is the ideal scenario, but the real dilemma is if Cam has a lousy start to the 2021 season.
Then what will the Patriots do?
We can almost bet that they will bench Cam.
This is not a great situation, but if it happens, hopefully it is at least four to five weeks into the season.
No one knows what Belichick and McDaniel will do, but it is certain that they are happy to have the potential problem.
Last week with all of the talk about the 49ers drafting Mac Jones, they could not have anticipated Mac Jones landing in their lap at the 15th spot.
What Does Mac Jones Think?
Jones was not shy about telling NFL Network’s Melissa Stark after the Patriots called his name that the Patriots were his top choice.
— NFL (@NFL) May 4, 2021
He appears to be prepared to do whatever the Patriots ask of him.
The 2021 NFL season is shaping up to be a very interesting one, and Mac Jones as a New England Patriot is just one of the interesting storylines to watch.