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Patriots Drop Bomb On NFL And Release Cam Newton, Mac Jones Named Starting QB

Patriots Drop Bomb On NFL And Release Cam Newton, Mac Jones Named Starting QB

Newton

Patriots Drop Bomb On NFL And Release Cam Newton, Mac Jones Named Starting QB. Photo: New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is shown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., in this Aug. 29, 2021, file photo.(AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)/Photo: New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before taking on the New York Giants during an NFL preseason football game, Aug. 29, 2021, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Cam Newton is out. Mac Jones is in as the new New England Patriots quarterback. The team released the veteran quarterback Newton on Aug.31, putting rookie Jones as the starter.

While Newton started every preseason game, he didn’t play as much overall and finished the preseason 14-of-21 for 162 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Jones, meanwhile, finished the preseason 36-of-52 for 389 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions, playing 107 snaps, the highest total among Patriots quarterbacks, ESPN reported.

But it might not be the stats that got Newton, who was a team captain, released. There have been rumors that Newton’s vaccination status played a role in his release. Newton refused to say whether or not he has been vaccinated and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick said it was not the issue.

“No. Look, you guys keep talking about that,” Belichick told reporters. “I would just point out that I don’t know what the number is, but the number of players, coaches, and staff members that have been affected by covid in this training camp — who have been vaccinated — is a pretty high number. So I wouldn’t lose sight of that.”

What is known is that Newton was absent from the Patriots for five days last week due to what the team called a covid protocol “misunderstanding,” ESPN reported. During that time, he missed three practices and Jones took over his role.


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Newton had undergone daily tests at the time, all of which were negative, according to the Patriots.

“He received daily covid tests, which were all negative. Due to a misunderstanding about tests conducted away from NFL facilities, and as required by the NFL-NFLPA protocols, Cam will be subject to the five-day entry cadence process before returning to the facility. Cam will continue participating virtually in team activities and return to the club facility on Thursday, August 26,” read a team statement. 

According to team covid protocols, vaccinated players and coaches are only required to be tested once every 14 days and wouldn’t have “received daily covid tests” as Newton did, CBS reported.

Some on Twitter thought the switch was about race. It has been a long struggle for Black quarterbacks in the NFL. It was not until 2017 that all of the NFL teams had started at least one Black quarterback, Sports Illustrated reported. Newton is Black. Jones is white.

“You are safe in New England if you are white,” CORNER @26theCB tweeted.

JJ @CertiifiedJJ tweeted, “It’s cause he’s black, always knew New England and their fans need a white QB”.

Neither the Patriots nor the NFL have put a vaccine mandate in place, but they will have unvaccinated players wear colored wristbandsProvidence Journal reported. Under new NFL rules, teams must have a system to differentiate vaccinated players from non-vaccinated players, typically with wristbands, Mass Live reported.

Unvaccinated players and coaches will undergo more severe testing and regulations. According to NFL protocols, players must wear appropriate personal protective equipment and are limited to the number of people they can be around or the type of venues they can go to for team or social purposes. Unvaccinated NFL players are subject to fines of $14,650 every time they violate one of the NFL’s covid-19 rules.

The Patriots re-signed Newton to a one-year deal in March that included $3.5 million in guaranteed money. Newton would have earned $5.1 million if he was healthy and on the roster as a backup, with incentives that upped the potential package to as much as $13.6 million if he was the starter and the team advanced into the playoffs.

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