New England Patriots Release Cam Newton

Cam Newton Noah K. Murray/Associated Press

In a stunning move, the New England Patriots released veteran quarterback Cam Newton on Tuesday, turning things over to rookie Mac Jones as the starter.

Coach Bill Belichick had said repeatedly that Newton was the team’s starting quarterback, but that he had to reestablish that position, or someone would have to play better than him. Jones has done that, in Belichick’s view.

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Jones finished the preseason 36-of-52 for 389 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, playing 107 snaps, easily the highest total among Patriots quarterbacks.

Newton had started every preseason game but didn’t play as much overall (39 snaps). He finished the preseason 14-of-21 for 162 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

In releasing Newton, who was a team captain, it clears a path for Jones to grow into more of a leadership role without having the presence of the former NFL Most Valuable Player behind him. Veteran Brian Hoyer, who was released Tuesday in a procedural move but expected to re-sign in the coming days, is projected to serve as Jones’ primary backup, and the team has 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham on the physically unable to perform list as a possible option later in the season.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Mike Reiss

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