Why NFL Insider Doubts Patriots Will Start Mac Jones Over Cam Newton

Jones has drawn rave reviews for his performance at minicamp

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The New England Patriots seemingly will have a legitimate quarterback battle on their hands at training camp.

But would Bill Belichick really start rookie Mac Jones, who reportedly has been great during minicamp, over Cam Newton at any point this season, let alone Week 1? NFL insider Ian Rapoport has his doubts.

Check out these comments Rapoport made Wednesday morning during an appearance on WEEI:

“Cam is where he is in his career. He’s obviously a veteran. He’s been injured some. He’s missed some time. Physically, he’s not what he was. I would say just based on that there’s a pretty good chance Mac Jones plays at some point this year. But, straight up beating Cam out, I just think it’s hard in practice. To me, he’s either going to beat Cam out in training camp, which is a little bit of a long-shot, but maybe not the craziest thing in the world. Or, it will be an injury.

“The Patriots are not going to be bad. They are actually a really, really talented team. With mediocre quarterback play they are going to be at least average, probably better. I just don’t see a point maybe mid-year where they go, ‘OK, Mac Jones is so much better in practice, we now have to play him.’ To me, it’s probably an injury and then when he gets in he will either play really well or he won’t, and he’ll be ready or he won’t. That’s sort of my (take) on that.”

It’s hard to tell if that’s opinion, reporting or somewhere in the middle from Rapoport. Maybe “informed speculation” is the best way to describe it.

Regardless, if Belichick truly is about putting the Patriots in the best position to win, then he shouldn’t think twice about rolling with a superior quarterback. Time will tell which quarterback that is.

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