NFL teams made their final roster cuts to trim their rosters to the 53 players they will take into the regular season.
There are always some surprises on the final cut day.
And one team just cut their starting quarterback and you won’t believe why.
The New England Patriots released last year’s starting quarterback Cam Newton despite resigning him in the offseason.
In 2020, Newton struggled through a miserable season throwing just eight touchdown passes in 15 games.
But the Patriots brought the 2015 NFL MVP back on a one-year contract despite spending a first round pick on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
The realities of the NFL salary cap dictate that if a team picks a quarterback in the first round they must get on the field and start as soon as possible.
The days of a team using a top pick on a quarterback and letting them apprentice under a veteran are long since gone.
Teams get the biggest bang for their buck out of the quarterback position when players are in their rookie contracts, which allows front offices to build depth on the roster and fill in star players in other spots.
Once a quarterback earns a second contract – which nowadays are in the $30 to $40 million a year range for franchise quarterbacks – the teams lose their salary cap flexibility.
That’s why there is a premium on getting first round draft pick quarterbacks on the field as soon as possible.
Jones played well enough in training camp to justify coach Bill Belichick naming Jones the starter so Newton was gone.
Patriots have released QB Cam Newton as @globejimmcbride reported.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 31, 2021
Newton’s poor play and Jones showing there was no learning curve may not have been the only reason the Patriots jettisoned Newton.
Some reporters speculated that Newton refusing the coronavirus vaccine played a role in the Patriots cutting him as the NFL will force teams to forfeit if they have outbreaks.
There wasn't just one reason that Cam Newton is gone. It was a combination of at least three, I'm told: Mac Jones' emergence, Newton's vaccination stance (which caused a bit of a stir behind the scenes) and Cam's uninspiring performance this summer.
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) August 31, 2021
Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.