(Foxboro) The Associated Press learned Tuesday that the New England Patriots have cut quarterback Cam Newton, paving the way for rookie Mac Jones early in the season.
The club has not yet confirmed the news.
Newton’s release comes just hours after NFL teams reduced their staff to 53 players and abruptly ended his time in New England. Newton was 7-8 years old in his only season as a starter, replacing Tom Brady, who left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bates finished last season with a score of 7-9.
Newton started all three of the Patriots’ pre-season, but he also missed five days of pre-season training last Sunday after “misunderstanding” NFL health protocols. He had to adhere to a five-day quarantine after visiting a doctor out of town.
Meanwhile, Jones was impressive throughout the camp, demonstrating the ability to lead the attack into the end zone and bounce back from the error. He also won the respect of many veterans.
Coach Bill Belichick admitted during Newton’s absence that this was an opportunity for Jones. The rookie caught it, and gave a solid performance during his first two training sessions with the Giants.
Although he did not start during pre-season, Jones made 107 appearances compared to Newton’s 38.
The Patriots’ move means that for only the second time since the merger to form the current NFL, the season will be starting with more than two rookie quarterbacks.
Trevor Lawrence has already been named as a starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Zach Wilson is expected to be with the New York Jets.
In 2012, five rookie quarterbacks were in place at the start of the season.
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