Cam Newton’s Patriots career came to an end after the surprise exit by the NFL quarterback MVP team on Tuesday. He likely won’t start for another team in his career, and it’s also questionable if he resurfaces as a substitute.
Newton went from competing for the job with rookie first-round pick Mac Jones to Bill Belichick and New England unwilling him, even as a No.2, to back Jones. Beyond the initial shock of the unorthodox big-name final cup, there were several good reasons for the Patriots to take Newton out of the regular season roster.
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1. Cam Newton missed a key part of training camp
In the midst of preseason games and intense joint camp training with the Eagles, Newton was unavailable linked to the COVID-19 testing snafu. It wasn’t Newton’s fault, but unfortunately for him, the opportunity struck harder for Jones and the rookie took full advantage to show off more impressive play in the first team.
The Patriots also know Newton missed pandemic-related action last season and is not fully vaccinated, raising more availability issues this season. The New England mantra under Belichick is “Do your job” and Newton not being able to show up for work at key times is frustrating.
Belichick praised what Newton was able to accomplish in Josh McDaniels’ complicated offense. But in the end, Newton still hasn’t shown he can do the job better than Jones.
2. Newton has no relief makeup
Newton wears the n ° 1. He is a Heisman Trophy winner, national champion, first choice in the 2011 draft, MVP and NFC champion. Newton wasn’t cut out to be a clipboard holder and help mentor young quarterbacks. His best value is bringing a unique double threat with his size and athleticism, but only in the starting lineup and only when he is healthy and strong-willed.
There have also been leadership battles with his teams in the past. He would not have performed well as a teammate as the Patriots look to pass their real new post-leader Tom Brady to Jones. Newton tended to fall into a downward spiral when things weren’t going well for him as a starter and by nature there would have been a negative environment for him when he was demoted to veteran No.2. .
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3. Patriots are comfortable with their traditional racing game
There was talk, even if Jones started, there would be special rush-based packages for Newton. But the Patriots have great confidence in Damien Harris, rookie Rhamondre Stevenson, journeyman JJ Taylor – as well as receiving specialist James White – that they can be effective at running the ball and completing practices with Jones providing the balance of a passing game with ball control. Sony Michel’s exchange with the Rams confirmed that they liked this mix in the backfield, so it would follow that they didn’t want to force Newton to attack and spoil Jones’s pace as a rookie in certain situations.
4. Patriots saw limited value in keeping Newton
The Patriots have no problem bringing in big names and throwing them out when things don’t go their way (see Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, among others). Between the seasoned Brian Hoyer and young Jarret Stidham’s experience in the system, Jones has plenty of support in the QB room to help him improve.
What would Newton offer that the Patriots didn’t already have in the running game or with their offensive leadership? The answer was not much. It wasn’t worth wasting a spot on the list. Call Belichick cold and calculated, but in this situation he was also right.