In somewhat shocking news, the New England Patriots decided to release veteran quarterback Cam Newton just a couple of weeks before the start of the 2021 NFL season. Some people thought he'd lose his starting job, not his job altogether.
Now, it'll be up to rookie Mac Jones to lead the offense at Foxboro. And, even though he looked pretty impressive in the preseason, there are still some who doubt his ability to make an immediate impact.
That's why there's been plenty of speculation regarding the reasons why Bill Belichick decided to cut Cam. According to former Patriots star Rob Ninkovich, it was entirely Newton's fault, as he didn't even know the playbook.
Rob Ninokvich: Cam Didn't Even Know The Playbook
“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” Ninkovich told the Providence Journal. “Mac was having less mental errors and having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute (drill), we didn’t see him run any no-huddle. You have to run no-huddle. That’s vital.”
ProFootballTalk: Newton's Vaccination Status Was Also A Factor
Cam Newton's struggles with the playbook have haunted him since his early days in the league. But besides that, his careless attitude, and even vaccination status also sealed his fate at New England:
“The source believes that a bunch of former Patriots players (such as Ninkovich) had a hard time with Tom Brady leaving and Cam Newton replacing Brady. Also, pointing to potential red herrings like playbook issues or distractions from music being played at practice cover up the basic truth. Cam was the starter until he failed to comply with a fairly basic aspect of the rule applicable to unvaccinated players. Thus, the decision to make him not the starter flowed directly from his vaccination status and the ever-present possibility that he won’t be available to play or to practice," reported Mike Florio of ProFotballTalk.
The truth is that Newton is incredibly talented and a hard worker. But he should've known better. You can't expect to be a starting quarterback and not even know your team's playbook after a full season.
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