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Maybe it was just a matter of time before rookie quarterback Mac Jones took over the starting spot, but not many Patriots fans saw the transition coming this quickly.
On Tuesday, the Patriots announced that Jones is going to be their new full-time signal caller and that they have released last year’s starter, former NFL MVP Cam Newton.
The entire offseason, people wondered who would be the quarterback for the Patriots. Would it be Newton, the savvy vet, or would the team take a chance on Jones, who observers and insiders say has been better than expected?
Thus far in preseason, Jones has been sensational, hitting on 36-for-52 passing for 388 yards and a touchdown. He also stayed the course following the game and said all the right things, which would be remarkable even for a veteran quarterback, much less a rookie.
“I’ve gotten a lot of opportunities to play and I can improve on everything I want to improve on. So I think just learning from [Brian] Hoyer, Cam, Jarrett [Stidham], any one I can, and listening to Josh [McDaniels] and his coaching, there’s a lot of work to do but I think I’ve made progress,” Jones said.
“But, honestly, the only thing that matters is today.”
Newton didn’t play terribly during the preseason. He was 14-of-21 for 162 yards with a TD and a pick in three games. However, the Patriots apparently determined he isn’t worth the money they were investing in him.
Back in March, Newton and the Patriots agreed to a new deal worth a maximum of $13.6 million. Only $3.5 million was fully guaranteed.
After the team drafted Jones, coach Bill Belichick stated that Newton was still “our quarterback.” That’s now no longer the case.