Mac Jones is set to become the leader of the next era in New England. And Star Tight End Jonnu Smith is excited for the rookie.
Hours ahead of the roster cut deadline, the Patriots released QB Cam Newton, with all signs pointing towards rookie Mac Jones taking the starting job.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 31, 2021
Cam Newton’s release was definitely a big surprise. Despite a bad season as a passer, Bill Belichick and the Patriots renamed Cam Newton as the team’s starter ahead of training camp for 2021. But after 3 weeks of preseason where Mac Jones clearly established that his style of play suits Josh McDaniels offense better, the 15th overall pick might have really made an impression on Bill Belichick.
Jonnu Smith has a lot of confidence in Mac Jones
Patriots tight end Jonnu Smith had plenty of praise for Jones during his press conference on Monday.
“He’s a hard worker,” Jonnu Smith said. “Earned it. He’s a great guy off the field and I’m just ready to ride with him… he’s taken that role and he’s done a great job at it. That’s why he is where he is. He’s done everything he’s supposed to do. Like I said man, we’re just ready to ride for him. I’m excited for him. I’ve got a lot of confidence in him and we’re just ready to ride.”
Jonnu Smith on Mac Jones: “He’s earned it. A great guy off the field. We’re ready to ride with him.” pic.twitter.com/FCKAeB8N29
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 6, 2021
Bill Belichick going back on his work as Cam Newton being a starter was probably a sign for future events. Both QBs performed well in New England’s second preseason matchup against Philadelphia on Thursday. Newton completed 8-of-9 passes for 103 yards with a touchdown. Mac Jones finished 13-of-19 for 146 yards, leading three scoring drives.
QBs like Mitchell Trubisky, Will Grier and Tyrod Taylor were all scooped up almost immediately after their release. Sam Darnold, who led his former Jets team to a 2-10 record with just nine touchdowns and 11 interceptions this past season, is set to start for Newton’s former Carolina Panthers team in 2021.
But the third matchup against the Giants might have tipped the scales in Jones’ favour. The rookie threw an impressive 10 for 14, for 156 yards and a score. Newton on the other hand went 2/5 with no scores and 1 interception
And despite what Bill Belichick has to say, Cam Newton’s unvaccinated status, which caused him to miss 5 days of crucial practice, could also have factored into the Patriots’ decision to release him. Regardless of the situation, it sucks to see the 2015 NFL MVP out of a job this close to the season.