The New England Patriots made waves in the NFL world this morning, announcing they were releasing quarterback Cam Newton. The former NFL MVP was positioned above 2021 first-round draft pick Mac Jones on the depth chart, but with Newton now gone, the first rounder seems set to start week one.

The Patriots drafted Jones 15th overall after he led the Crimson Tide in 2020 with one of the best years ever by a college quarterback. Newton was signed to a one-year deal after starting for New England last year, and many expected him to take back over this role in 2021.

Mac Jones finished the 2020 college football season with a 77.4% completion percentage, 4,500 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, and only four interceptions. His passer rating of 203.1 is the highest ever recorded in NCAA history. He finished 3rd in Heisman voting en route to leading the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff National Championship. These accomplishments made Jones very appealing to teams in search of a true "pro" style quarterback, and some draft analysts predicted him going as high as third overall.

After taking second team reps all preseason, it seems that Bill Belichick had seen enough of Jones to make the call to promote him and release Newton. The former Auburn QB posted mediocre stats last season, including throwing more interceptions than touchdowns, but seemed poised to come back stronger this season. Now, he will have to find that opportunity on another team.

"The Joker" will join former teammate  and current patriots' running back Damien Harris as a starters in the backfield for the Patriots. The two were close friends at Alabama, and are now set to lead New England's offense together.

Jones is set to make his NFL debut against the Miami Dolphins and former teammate Tua Tagovailoa on Week 1, Sunday, Sept. 12th.

Jalen Hurts has been named the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles as well going into the season, giving Alabama three former QBs starting in the NFL.

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