I don’t watch football anymore except for Tom Brady, but the release of Cam Newton is such an interesting story that it deserves a blog post:
- This caught a lot of people by surprise in the sense that since Mac Jones was drafted the question has been Cam or Mac, Mac or Cam. This has been the conversation every single day on Boston sports radio and a lot of the consensus has been that it was Cam’s job to lose. Right up until the story broke nobody saw it coming.
- There is some speculation that Newton was released as a favor to him once he had lost the QB competition to Jones (which wasn’t clear to the public two days ago) because being released now gives him a chance at a starting position in another organization. Any other season this would not likely be possible but with two weeks before opening day this is something that a team could actually consider.
- The release of Newton brings two different conflicting woke dynamics into play here. Cam was the first black “starting” quarterback in the history of the Boston/New England Patriots franchise (Jacoby Brissette started two games during Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” suspension). So you would think that there might be a bit of the race card pushback on this move, particular as it’s a “Boston” Team. However Cam was also “unvaccinated” and right now among those who are woke the decision not to get the COVID vaccine by a very public figure who has a large fanbase is considered almost as beyond the pale as voting Trump. It’s no accident that I’ve heard sports folk talk about Cam’s vaccinated status concerning this move but I’ve not heard a word concerning race although in fairness there is not an “ineligible” list based on race.
- While Cam’s shortcomings were a standard feature of sports talk radio last year locally, nationally there was little or no such discussion concerning Cam Newton’s performance or lack thereof. There was further (and listening to the radio yesterday) still a whole plethora of people who all had excuses for his leading the Patriots to their 1st losing season since before Tom Brady took over the team. The speed at which a team decides to pick up Newton or if he is picked up at all will tell us if this was just pundits being pundits or if front offices and GM’s around the league were part of that willful blindness that seems to engulf folks on the subject of Newton and the Patriots
- It would seem to me that one of the deciding factors here would be Jones similarity to the Brady style which is the offense that the Patriots Josh McDaniels has had success with. Expect to see a lot of this over the next decades as a generation of kids who watched Tom Brady play and pretended to be him or dreamed of being him over the last twenty years reach the college and pro-level. It remains to be seen of any of said kids can come anywhere close to being him but it’s worth noting what Newton’s departure means in terms of age and experience among AFC East starting QB’s