Bill Belichick: Cam Newton is Patriots QB … for now

Veteran Cam Newton is the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots. At least for now.

That’s what coach Bill Belichick told reporters Saturday, reiterating the comments he made after the Patriots selected Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in April.

Still, Belichick acknowledged he could change his viewpoint as training camp progresses in Foxborough, Mass.

“We’ll take a look at the whole situation,” Belichick said. “I don’t think you want to evaluate players at any position off one or two plays, or maybe a day. So from a consistency standpoint, that’s always important. And obviously production. So hopefully those things will be good, and I’m sure it will be a hard decision.”

Since training camp opened this week, Newton has taken the majority of the snaps, followed by Jones.

Newton, a former No. 1 overall draft pick and the 2015 NFL MVP with the Carolina Panthers, is in his second season with the Patriots. Brought in to fill the very big shoes of Tom Brady, Newton was 7-8 as a starter as the Patriots missed the playoffs for only the third time in 20 seasons. He completed 65.8 percent of his pass attempts for 2,657 yards and eight touchdowns with 10 interceptions. He added 12 touchdowns on 592 rushing yards.

Newton, 32, told reporters Friday that he knows his grip on the position isn’t secure.

“Ever since I’ve been here, there’s been a quarterback competition,” he said. “I think, in essence, that’s the underlying Patriot Way. Every position has a competition there, and quarterback is no different.”

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