Cam Newton was released by the New England Patriots on Tuesday, paving the way for rookie Mac Jones to take over as the team’s starting quarterback in 2021.
According to NFL Network, ESPN, and the Boston Globe, Newton was released and Jones was promoted on the depth chart. Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, started 15 games for the Patriots last season. This offseason, he signed a one-year contract with the team.
Jones was taken by the Patriots with the 15th overall choice in the 2021 NFL Draft. In January, Jones guided Alabama to a national title. In his final season with the Crimson Tide, he threw 41 touchdown passes and only four interceptions.
Newton completed 14 of 21 passes for 162 yards, one score and one interception in three appearances this preseason. Jones completed 36 of 52 passes for 389 yards, one score and no interceptions in three preseason games.
Newton missed the week of practice before the Patriots’ final preseason game due to what the team called a “misunderstanding” about COVID-19 tests “conducted away from NFL facilities.”
Last week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick stated that Newton’s absence presented an opportunity for Jones to impress coaches with his performance.
The Patriots play the Miami Dolphins in their first regular-season game on September 12 at 4:25 p.m. EDT at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
Last season, the Dolphins tied for the league lead with 18 interceptions. In 2020, Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard had a league-high ten interceptions. Last season, the Dolphins tied the Denver Broncos for the fewest touchdown passes allowed in the AFC.