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Cam Newton Says Mac Jones 'Was the Right Pick' For Patriots in 2021 NFL Draft

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIJune 15, 2021

AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Cam Newton's job may be in jeopardy, but the New England Patriots quarterback isn't mad about the team's decision to draft quarterback Mac Jones at No. 15 overall this year.

The former Carolina Panther told reporters Tuesday that he understood why the Patriots added Jones, even after Newton re-signed with the team on a one-year deal a month before the draft.

"He was the right pick, in my opinion," Newton said. "He was the best player available, and that's what the NFL draft is for."

He also praised Jones from a personality perspective: 

Phil Perry @PhilAPerry

More from Newton on Jones: "From a leadership perspective, he's holding himself accountable, and that's all you can ask from a young player."

Newton, who suffered a bone bruise in his hand in OTAs on June 4, was in action alongside Jones for the first day of minicamp on Monday. The consensus among reporters after that outing, where Jones had one more completion than Newton, was that the rookie impressed. 

On Tuesday, things seemed to be the same: 

Zack Cox @ZackCoxNESN

Big storyline from today was the sizable increase in reps Mac Jones saw. Cam Newton continued to lead off, but Jones attempted the most passes in team drills. <br><br>QB stats: <br>Jones: 17 of 25 (9 of 13 in 11s)<br>Newton: 9 of 17 (5 of 9)<br>Stidham: 5 of 8 (3 of 5)<br>Hoyer: none

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

It’s still way too early to predict the outcome of the QB battle. Padded practices and preseason will be paramount. But the past week shows me Mac Jones absolutely has a chance to win the job later this summer.

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Chris Mason @ByChrisMason

Mac Jones was the best QB (again) but struggled a bit during the final competitive team period (2 INTs). It happens as a rookie first-rounder at minicamp. <br><br>Jones still clearly outplayed Newton, who couldn’t get much going all afternoon, and Stidham, who didn’t see many reps.

When the team drafted Jones at the end of April, head coach Bill Belichick maintained that Newton would be the starter over the Alabama product, who led the Crimson Tide to a perfect season and threw for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns along the way.

But the early workouts could suggest that a change of course may be in the cards for New England. Looking to Newton when longtime quarterback Tom Brady departed for Tampa Bay, the Patriots missed the postseason for the first time since 2008. They tied for last in the league with 12 passing touchdowns. 

Newton made 15 starts, finishing with 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions to go with 592 rushing yards and 12 rushing scores.

Belichick, per usual, hasn't revealed too much about his thoughts on the quarterback situation thus far. He told reporters Tuesday he though Jones was "learning quickly and working hard at it," and acknowledged that Newton is "way ahead of where he was last year." 

As for Jarrett Stidham, the team's fourth-round pick in 2019 who has appeared in eight games (and never started), it seems like he'll be on the back burner yet again. 

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