Recently retired wide receiver Julian Edelman shared his thoughts about the New England Patriots’ decision to release Cam Newton just a week before the new season.
While news of the Patriots choosing rookie Mac Jones over Newton sent a sliver of shock throughout the NFL, Edelman wasn’t surprised. In an appearance on “Inside the NFL,” he said:
“Nothing surprises me with Bill. You look at the history. Logan Mankins was let go; Lawyer Milloy, (Richard) Seymour, like it, doesn’t surprise me. I think the kid came out and he did well. He did very well. You could see in his eyes. You could see in his reads that he felt comfortable in the pocket. He was looking at the right areas, intentionally watching these play calls and how he was handling them. He ran the no-huddle very well.”
The former Super Bowl LIII MVP doesn’t believe Jones fundamentally knocked out Newton, but it’s hard to overlook a first-round pick. He explained:
“The ceiling (for Jones) is so high. They spent a 15 overall pick on the kid. They’re going to go with him. It didn’t surprise me. It’s terrible for Cam. I feel bad for him. But with that whole situation, I don’t think they wanted the distraction. I think they wanted him to — give him his rein to go out and try to get on another team. But like I said, that’s not a very surprising act by the Patriots, as you know.”
What’s next for Newton and Jones?
Newton doesn’t seem too heartbroken about the Patriots favoring a rookie and letting him walk. He posted a message on Twitter that read no one should feel sorry for him.
The former NFL MVP took the most first-team reps in camp and started in all three Patriots preseason games. Although Jones impressed throughout the summer, all signs pointed toward the 22-year-old backing up Newton to begin the 2021 campaign.
But after the preseason, Jones secured New England’s starting quarterback position over veteran Cam Newton after captivating competition.
The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly expressed interest in the 32-year-old quarterback. Several suitors are likely to inquire about Newton this season, though it’s questionable whether he would agree to a backup role.
Jones will make his official NFL debut on September 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET when the Patriots host the Miami Dolphins.