Cam Newton Questions Resurface As Mac Jones, Patriots Stumble Vs. Saints

Newton started trending on Twitter as New England struggled in Week 3


Sep 26, 2021

Cam Newton, released several weeks ago by the New England Patriots, doesn’t even need to be on an NFL roster to generate noise on social media.

Newton once again started trending on Twitter on Sunday, thanks in large to Mac Jones’ poor performance in the Patriots’ 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Week 3.

And this probably will be a recurring theme for as long as Newton remains a free agent: If a quarterback — especially Jones — stumbles, there will be a ton of chatter about the three-time Pro Bowl selection not having an NFL job while less-proven signal-callers across the league fall flat.

In that sense, Sunday was the perfect storm, as Jones threw three interceptions — the first three picks of his NFL career — as New England’s offense struggled in Foxboro. The Patriots will welcome Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Gillette Stadium in Week 4 with a 1-2 record.

Here’s some of the aforementioned Newton buzz that circulated Sunday:

And that’s just a small sample.

Now, pinning Sunday’s loss on Jones doesn’t make much sense. It absolutely was the worst game of his young NFL career, but New England’s offensive line again struggled to keep the rookie upright. And Josh McDaniels’ play-calling, James White’s injury, Jonnu Smith’s drops and suspect special-teams play all factored into the Patriots’ disappointing effort.

It makes even less sense to suggest Bill Belichick regrets releasing Newton before the start of the regular season. Because while Newton faced a difficult situation in 2020 — thanks to a truncated offseason, a dearth of weapons, a battle with COVID-19, etc. — and the Patriots’ offense has yet to take off with Jones under center, there’s also very little reason to believe New England would be better with the veteran QB.

In fact, having Newton around as the backup would only intensify the pressure Jones currently faces — something Newton himself acknowledged in a wide-ranging interview shortly after being cut.

Saying the Patriots should have stuck with Newton feels like a case of being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian. Quarterback play really hasn’t been New England’s biggest problem through three games, even if it hasn’t necessarily been a strength, either.

All told, it probably is time to pump the brakes on the Jones hype, and not just because of Sunday’s performance. But as far as Newton goes, other teams — like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Football Team, perhaps? — should reach out to the 32-year-old, while the Patriots should remain comfortable with their preseason decision to move on in favor of their next franchise QB.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
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