Cam Newton’s release came as a surprise to just about everyone outside of New England. But for those with ties to the Patriots, sending the 2015 league MVP packing was business as usual. Former Patriots receiver Julian Edelman is among the ex-Patriots who have seen and lived this movie before. Citing prior releases of popular Patriots on both sides of the ball, Edelman was anything but surprised that Bill Belichick opted for Mac Jones over Cam Newton.
— Ankur Dhariwal (@ankurdhariwal81) September 2, 2021
“Nothing surprises me with Bill. Just look at the history,” Edelman told media members Wednesday. “Logan Mankins was let go. Lawyer Milloy, (Richard) Seymour. I think (Mac Jones) came out and did very well. You could see in his eyes, see in his reads, that he felt very comfortable in the pocket. He was looking at the right areas. He ran the no-huddle well.”
Though New England handed Newton his walking papers, Edelman doesn’t think he was outplayed by rookie quarterback Mac Jones: “I don’t think he beat (Newton) out, but the ceiling is so high and after spending the 15th overall pick on him, they’re going to go with him. It didn’t surprise me.”
Handing the reins to Jones leaves Newton, who’s on the wrong side of 30, jobless and seeking to catch on as a backup elsewhere. That’s a situation more than a few ex-Patriots can relate to. “I feel bad for him with that whole situation. I don’t think they wanted a distraction and wanted to give him a chance to go out and get on another team,” said Edelman. “But it’s not a very surprising act by the Patriots.”
Newton’s release is just further proof that even in summer, Foxborough can be a very cold place.