Newton was surprisingly released by the Patriots on Tuesday in a move that caught the football world off guard. The former league MVP was embroiled in a battle with rookie Mac Jones for the starting job in New England.
Many expected Jones to be given the starting job after a strong preseason, but few expected it to go down like this.
There are a variety of reasons the Patriots likely chose to release Newton as opposed to keeping him around as the backup. And all of those reasons are why the Jets should probably steer clear of the three-time Pro Bowler.
Newton didn’t play well this summer, that much has been documented. While he still remains a capable NFL quarterback who, at times, could show glimpses of his old self, he’s not the player he used to be.
And that’s OK for the Jets who are simply looking for a dependable backup quarterback. Following the release of Josh Johnson, the Jets are left with just Mike White and James Morgan with the former presumed to be the favorite for the job.
Newton is undoubtedly a more established player than either and it’s hard to argue that he isn’t better, even at this stage. But this begs the following question.
If the Patriots didn’t want Newton around as a mentor to their backup quarterback, why should the Jets?
The Patriots opted to roll with Brian Hoyer, a player the Jets had some interest in earlier in the offseason, over Newton. That says something. That says that Newton, although the superior talent, wasn’t as valued as a mentor.
And seeing as though that’s all the Jets are looking for, that’s not a great sign.
Then there’s the drama that was caused with his unvaccinated status, likely one of the biggest reasons for his release. Without diving into that contentious topic too much, it’s safe to say the Jets will probably steer clear of adding a player like Newton to their QB room.
From a purely competitive standpoint, it would be a disadvantage to have an unvaccinated quarterback on the roster, especially if that player isn’t even the starter.
That’s just the reality of the current NFL. Not personal opinion — just fact.
This isn’t to say that the Jets shouldn’t add a veteran quarterback. A player like Nick Mullens or even Nick Foles could serve that role better than Newton would.
Cam Newton is still a good football player, probably better than most will give him credit for in the year 2021. But he doesn’t make sense for the Jets.
The Patriots didn’t want him as a mentor for their rookie quarterback and neither should the Jets.