Cam Newton and his recent release sent shockwaves across the league. And Former Patriot Rob Ninkovich added some more baffling news to the mix.
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.
Rob Ninkovich dropped some big news about Cam Newton and his release.
According to former Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich, rookie quarterback Mac Jones had to help Newton learn the team’s playbook.
“I got some inside sources now, and I won’t say names, but from what I gained from sources inside the actual building… Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich said. “Mac was having less mental errors and a better understanding of the offense.”
Ninkovich also mentioned that Newton didn’t run the no-huddle offense or two-minute drill in the preseason. Perhaps that’s because he was reportedly not up to speed with the playbook.
The news is a little hard to believe considering Cam Newton has been in the Patriots offensive system for a whole year longer. But Rob Ninkovich was a member of the team for 7 years, so believing in his sources is not s stretch.
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. Jones finished 13-of-19 for 146 yards, leading three scoring drives.
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 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.