The Patriots selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Cam Newton is still the man in New England, according to head coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick led off Friday morning’s video conference call with New England media by confirming that Newton is still the Patriots’ top quarterback.
“Cam’s our quarterback,” Belichick said in his opening statement. “Whatever time Jarrett (Stidham) or Mac are ready to challenge him and compete, we’ll see how that goes. Right now, for Mac, he’s got a lot of learning in front of him, and I know he’s very anxious to get going with it and get started.”
Belichick was asked how long Newton would remain in place as the Patriots’ QB1.
“Somebody would have to play better than he does,” Belichick said.
Newton was re-signed to a one-year contract before free agency. Stidham is entering his third NFL season after being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Jones is coming off of an undefeated season at Alabama.
We still don’t know who the Patriots’ top quarterback will be in Week 1, but it appears Newton is certainly the front-runner. The three quarterbacks, plus fourth-stringer Jake Dolegala, will battle it out in organized team activities, minicamp, training camp and the preseason before the season starts in September.
Jones was the fifth quarterback taken off the board Thursday night in the first round of the NFL Draft. Belichick declaring Newton as the Patriots’ quarterback might have been one way of downplaying the hype that comes with a first-round signal-caller.