After a fairly lackluster showing in the preseason opener, has Cam Newton already been unseated as the Patriots’ starter by Mac Jones?
The New England Patriots went totally against their grain this offseason, spending big money in free agency and drafting quarterback Mac Jones in the first round. Bringing back Cam Newton was a reasonable move to keep a veteran signal caller in the mix.
Head coach Bill Belichick has said Newton is the Patriots’ starting quarterback until someone beats him out.
In the Patriots’ preseason opener against Washington, Jones looked comfortable as he completed 13 of 19 passes for 87 yards. By comparison, Newton went 4-for-7 for 49 yards in the game.
Pro Football Focus gave Jones a good grade for his performance in the preseason opener. Going a little deeper to one particular metric, the difference between he and Newton was striking against Washington.
Has Mac Jones already beaten out Cam Newton for the starting job?
On Monday, Newton was asked if he’s been told he’s starting Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. He initially seemed to be a little defiant, citing “silly questions”, but eventually said he has not been told he’s starting the season opener.
The ever-secretive Belichick won’t tell the media what time it is, and he surely won’t reveal who his Week 1 starting quarterback is after one preseason game even if the situation pointed to him being able to. For what it’s worth in the competition, accounts from Monday’s joint practice against the Philadelphia Eagles suggest neither quarterback looked particularly good.
The door is open for Jones to beat out Newton, as it theoretically always has been. Even competing against Washington’s backups he looked good in his first opportunity to step through that door in game action, while Newton was lackluster by comparison. For what’s left of camp and the preseason, Newton may have to clearly perform better than Jones to secure the starting gig for Week 1.