Prior to the 2021 NFL Draft, most assumed Cam Newton would once again be the starting quarterback of the New England Patriots this upcoming season. They then went and took former Alabama star Mac Jones in the first round, meaning a competition will commence this off-season.
The Pats’ quarterback competition will be one of the most fascinating to follow this year. It pairs the veteran Newton against the youngster Jones.
Newton had an up-and-down 2020 campaign, and was pretty abysmal in the passing game. But Bill Belichick gave him a few more weapons to work with this upcoming season by signing Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor and Hunter Henry. Newton will have to outduel Jones in the passing game if he wants to keep his starting gig.
Julian Edelman, who’s now retired, isn’t so sure how the Patriots’ quarterback competition will play out. But he’s confident Newton’s been working hard to fend off the rookie in Jones.
“He’s probably been working hard,” Edelman said regarding Newton, via NESN.com. “That’s his M.O. Cam works hard. Now we’ve got to see if he can work smart in the right areas, and if he does that, he’s going to give himself an opportunity to do well. But he?s also going to have to beat out the young gun, because the young guy is there — little Mac Attack. This kid, that’s a first-round draft pick. That’s, like, a real first-round draft pick.”
Cam Newton will have a serious edge over Mac Jones because of his experience. But Jones’ ability to stretch the field in the passing game could play a factor.
Jones completed 77.4 percent of his throws for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns last season at Alabama. Better yet, he had just four interceptions.
Jones is without a doubt the Patriots’ eventual franchise quarterback. But Newton isn’t ready to give up his starting gig just yet.