Today the inevitable happened. The New England Patriots released veteran Cam Newton and offically ushered in the Mac Jones era, naming the quarterback the starter come opening day kickoff.
Mac Jones era begins pic.twitter.com/EDDXzLMknc
— Overtime (@overtime) August 31, 2021
Newton started the final preseason game on Sunday and played two series, going 2-of-5 for 10 yards with one pick. That’s after missing three practices last week for a COVID-19 “misunderstanding”
Jones meanwhile, looked like the hungrier and healthier signal caller. The Crimson Tide gunslinger finished his preseason an impressive 36-of-52 for 389 yards with one TD and no interceptions, making Cam’s exit inevtable.
Nick Saban’s former signal callers are still in high demand in the NFL.
Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones will all start for their respective teams to open the NFL regular season.
Mac & Tua will square off week one when the Patriots host the Dolphins. pic.twitter.com/4I8ce6unJd
— Rocco DiSangro (@RoccoDiSangro) August 31, 2021
Don’t shed any tears for Cam, who still take home a guaranteed $3.5 million out of the $5.1 million deal he signed to return to the Pats this year. That’s hella Fedoras to fill the closet with. So that should make up for him being lowballed in free agency in 2020. Hopefully that’s a satisfying farewell package for Cam.
If Newton was desperate not to let the young gun steal his spot, he sure didn’t show any urgency. It was also obvious that the Pats organization, including Belickick — once Cam’s biggest fan — had lost all confidence in the former face of Black quarterback success in the NFL.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 31, 2021
It was only a matter of time.
The clock on Cam Newton’s career starting ticking long before he joined the Patriots during a COVID-19 ravaged season and led the franchise to its first losing season since the Sopranos were still running.
The Panthers, an expansion franchise that he led to the Super Bowl in 2015 while captivating the sports world with his charisma, all-world ability and dancing prowess, just dropped him with no farewell parade.
Once Ron Rivera left for Washington, the new regime in Carolina wanted to clear the cupboard for the arrival of a new leader.
Belichick thought Cam had enough in the tank to revive his sinking career and keep the Patriots relevant as contenders for awhile in the post-Brady years. Cam caught COVID early in the season and everything went downhill from there.
Former Pats legend Tom Brady won a seventh Super Bowl with Tampa Bay, which just compounded the frustration of Patriots fans and the front office. An organization that is known as the blueprint for modern-day NFL dynasties became the brunt of jokes on social media and sports shows.
— Squilliam Fancyson (@djCodeRed_) August 31, 2021
Brady’s SB victory was a harsh indictment on the Patriots and genius head coach Bill Belichick. Every move the Patriots made since Brady departed backfired.
After peetering out in Carolina, Cam gave the impression that he was more motivated and focused and prepared to step into Brady’s huge shoes and perform closer to his game-changing MVP and Super Bowl form of 2015.
READ MORE: Carolina Gave Up On Cam Newton, But The Pain Will Inspire A Classic Comeback
“They Gave Up On Me”
With boulder firmly placed on his shoulder and videos of a ripped Cam Newton putting in work and looking in great shape, the optimism was there.
The surrounding talent, and ultimately, the results were not.
In addition to the lack of weapons the Patriots had last season, Newton’s wing just couldn’t make the pigskin fly anymore. His athleticism and speed has been compromised and his body’s taken a beating as he’s never played for a franchise that provided him any superstar support. The one time he had a Hall of Fame wide receiver (Steve Smith) he threw for a rookie record of 4,051 yards.
When the Patriots drafted Alabama quarterback and CFB National Title winner Mac Jones, it was the nail in the coffin for Cam. There isn’t a pair of designer shoes or tailor-made suspenders in the world that could have prevented Jones from ascending to starter once he showed what he could do in the preseason.
The Cam Newton Experiment was a failure in New England, but there’s achance he could find a backup job with a team somewhere. Belichick probably gave Cam that option and knowing the former franchsie QB he declined.
Give Cam his props on the way out the door, because the 6-foot-5, one-man wrecking crew had to carry every team he’s played for over the past decade. He took a trailor load of hits and gave fans a lifetime of memroable moments. A true character of the game. Such is life in the NFL. Legendary careers are short lived and you’re only as good as your last completed pass.
Good luck in the future, Cam.