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Who is the backup to Mac Jones?

Who is the backup to Mac Jones?


The New England Patriots have cut Cam Newton, so who will back up rookie Mac Jones?

Cam Newton was going to be the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback unless he was beaten out. Rookie Mac Jones stated his case to start all preseason, and on Tuesday morning the Patriots released Newton. So Jones will be the starting quarterback and Newton’s future is now up in the air.

Newton’s foray away from the team facility for a medical appointment, and his having to miss a critical practice week in COVID-19 protocols, gave Jones a wide-open opportunity to win the starting job.

Going 10-for-14 for 156 yards in the preseason finale against the New York Giants apparently sealed the idea that he deserved to start.


Patriots depth chart: Who is the backup to Mac Jones?

Newton was never going to be an ideal backup, as speculation about him taking over would have ramped up the moment Jones struggled (assuming he does). So Bill Belichick has eliminated that headache, and the barrage of questions from the media he’d give non-answers to if that situation came about, by cutting Newton and letting him move on.

Behind Jones, the Patriots were already without Jarrett Stidham, a one-time possible successor to Tom Brady who’s going to be out into the season after back surgery in late July. So that leaves Brian Hoyer as the No. 2 quarterback right now, barring a signing as other teams trim their rosters to 53 on Tuesday.

Hoyer came back to the Patriots on a one-year deal this offseason. He started one game last year when Newton tested positive for COVID-19 and was out. He also spent part of the 2017 season, the 2018 season and the first three seasons of his career (2009-2011) in New England, so he’s a familiar face and an experienced backup for Jones.

The Patriots declared they’re all-in on Jones right away by cutting Newton. But make no mistake, any chance at a return to the top of the AFC East this year would go away if Hoyer has to play.