The New England Patriots will have a rookie behind center to kick off the 2021 season. It’s a decision that is certainly being questioned.
The sideline leader of the NFL team that has been the most successful this decade has seen his share of praise and criticism. Bill Belichick’s latest move regarding his starting quarterback has seen the six-time Super Bowl champion head coach take some real heat.
Following the release of veteran Cam Newton on Tuesday, ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick and former Patriots’ cornerback Asante Samuel had some strong words opinions regarding the move.
Former Patriots think cutting Cam Newton was the wrong move
Now another one of Belichick’s former players has chimed in on the decision. Tight end Jermaine Wiggins is the co-host of “The Greg Hill Show” on WEEI. He had this to say in naming rookie signal-caller Mac Jones the team’s starting quarterback while parting ways with Newton (via NBC Sports Boston’s Early Edition):
I think it’s a huge mistake and it has the potential to be really ugly. The fact that you’re handing the keys to your organization to a rookie, on a team that we all expected based on what they did in the offseason has got to be a playoff-caliber football team. Every rookie quarterback is going to deal with growing pains, is going to deal with, you know what, now I’m in the NFL, it’s no longer preseason. They’re the disguising coverages, they’re blitzing, they’re doing all types of things that I’ve never seen before. And it’s just gonna take time for Mac to see certain things.
Jones was the 15th overall pick in April’s draft. He was impressive during the summer and his elevation to the starting spot is less of a shock than Newton actually being released by the club. He faces a Miami team that came up with an NFL-high 29 takeaways a season ago.
The 2021 NFL season begins in exactly one week (September 9). The New England Patriots will kick off the year three days later the same way they did in 2020 when they hosted the Dolphins. That contest saw a battle of veteran quarterbacks in Newton and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now it’s a clash between former University alum in Jones and Tua Tagovailoa. Let the intrigue in Foxborough begin.