Bill Belichick must make Cam Newton the starting quarterback to start the season.
When asked if he was ready to make a starter for the Patriots’ Week 1 game against Miami in a few weeks, Belichick gave a typical answer in his everyday cadence.
“No, we still have a lot of decisions to make,” Belichick said.
There’s only one option right now that you can use in the quarterback position and that’s Cam Newton. This is no small matter for Mac Jones. Obviously the rookie has a great camp and a great preseason, but so does Newton.
He has fought with Jones every step of the way. He is the veteran and he has proven all through the preseason that he can hold his own as a starter for this team.
Jones has had one of the most impressive performances of any rookie in the preseason. Only Zach Wilson looked better as a rookie from the quarterback position.
You have less to lose by starting with Newton at the beginning of the season. Jones looked solid to start his career, but we’re still talking about the preseason where he plays against a lot of back-ups and third-tier guys. In addition, if you choose to start Newton, the doesn’t mean you have to stay with him all year. When Newton begins to regress, you can always put Jones in to give yourself a different look.
However, if you go with Jones in the beginning, you don’t have the flexibility to go to Newton without major consequences. Jones is the future of your franchise and if you have to leave him early in the season because he is not producing, it can adversely affect his confidence and how he progresses.
Just look at what happened in Miami with Tua Tagovailoa.
Newton will serve as the perfect quarterback to give the Patriots a chance to win this season without the greatest risk and if you need Jones, he will always be there.
The decision is easy for Belichick. Start Newton and give yourself more flexibility.