How Julian Edelman Feels About Cam Newton’s Release, Starting Mac Jones

Edelman wasn't among those surprised by the development

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September 1, 2021

The institutional knowledge that comes with a decade inside the confines of Gillette Stadium has eliminated the element of surprise for former New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman.

Edelman shared just that Wednesday when asked for his initial reaction after hearing the Patriots opted to release quarterback Cam Newton and start rookie Mac Jones.

“Nothing surprises me with Bill (Belichick). Just look at the history,” Edelman said during an appearance on “Inside the NFL,” as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston.

“Logan Mankins was let go. Lawyer Milloy, (Richard) Seymour. I think the kid came out and did very well. You could see in his eyes, see in his reads, that he felt very comfortable in the pocket.  He was looking at the right areas. He ran the no-huddle well,” Edelman continued. “I don?t think he beat (Newton) out, but the ceiling is so high and after spending the 15th overall pick on him, they’re going to go with him. It didn’t surprise me.”

The fact the Patriots opted to give Jones the starting job, as Edelman noted, probably shouldn’t be viewed as a complete stunner. Jones was the team’s first-round draft pick and, as media on scene expressed in recent weeks, was the more impressive of the two signal-callers.

But the fact Newton was outright released was where the element of surprise came for many. After all, the 2015 NFL MVP took all first-team reps during each of New England’s three preseason games one season after making 15 starts.

Edelman, who played with Newton during the 2020 campaign, seemed to offer his feelings on why he thinks the Patriots felt the need cut ties with him all together.

“I feel bad for him (Newton) with that whole situation,” Edelman said. “I don’t think they wanted a distraction and wanted to give him a chance to go out and get on another team. But it’s not a very surprising act by the Patriots.”

Jones, who is the only quarterback on the roster with Brian Hoyer currently on the practice squad, now will serve as QB1 when the Patriots open the season Sept. 12 against the Miami Dolphins.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
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