Every roster cutdown day each offseason in the NFL has its fair share of surprises. One will always stand out amongst the rest, and this year’s comes via the New England Patriots.
The Buffalo Bills’ AFC East rival named their starting quarterback for 2021 in a shocking manner. Quarterback Cam Newton was battling rookie first-round pick Mac Jones for the No. 1 job.
The Patriots re-signed Newton to a one-year incentive-laden deal this offseason. He was the team’s starter in 2020 with 2,657 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions and 12 rushing touchdowns.
Jones, the No. 15 overall pick at the recent draft, put together a positive preseason. He was 36-for-52 passing with 388 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers.
Then came a COVID-19 issue.
Newton missed practices last week for a reason similar to a couple of Bills players. Cole Beasley and other unvaccinated players were sent home for a few days because they had to quarantine after coming in close contact with a positive test.
That happened with Newton, and Patriots Wire reported that New England was “frustrated” with that. Additionally, our Pats Wire friends said Jones went on to impress during practices when Newton wasn’t there.
The perfect storm for one became the worst-possible scenario for the other.
Without Newton, also playing a part was likely Brian Hoyer. As a test veteran backup, the need for keeping Newton, a former MVP around as an experienced No. 2, was not needed.