The biggest question of the New England Patriots offseason was answered Tuesday with the release of Cam Newton. Rookie Mac Jones will be the starter in Week 1, barring injury.
However, Newton’s release also created multiple new questions. Among them: How, exactly, did the conversation between he and the Patriots go? Did Bill Belichick give Newton the opportunity to back up Jones? And, if so, how did Newton handle it?
Well, such a back-and-forth apparently never took place, according to Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal.
“What I have learned in the last couple of minutes is that I do not believe that Cam Newton was given the option to stay,” Bedard said during an appearance on Tuesday’s “Felger and Mazz” show. “From my reporting, I don’t believe Cam Newton was given the option to stay, as if he turned it down and said, ‘I don’t wanna be part of that.’
“The Patriots made a decision to move on, that probably Cam Newton didn’t fit schematically physically into what they want to do at the quarterback situation.”
Time will tell if Belichick should have considered making Newton the backup. He knows the offense, and it’s no guarantee that Jones will hold up over the course of a 17-game NFL season.
Of course, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, would have been interested in backing up a rookie.
So, who will back up Jones?
Currently, the plan seemingly is to utilize a combination of veteran Brian Hoyer, who reportedly will re-sign with the Patriots on the practice squad, and third-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham, who remains out with a back injury. New England also could use free agency or a trade to acquire a potentially superior option.
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