The New England Patriots have one of the most intriguing quarterback rooms in the league heading into the 2021 season.
Former league MVP Cam Newton is set to return after a disappointing first year with the organization in 2020, and highly-touted rookie Mac Jones will join the mix as his No. 1 competition.
While Newton could be upset by his incoming challenger, the three-time Pro Bowler has shown nothing but respect for the No. 15 overall pick who he’s affectionately dubbed “Mac and Cheese.”
During an appearance on Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin Thursday, Newton doubled down on his respect for Jones, calling him the “right pick” for the Patriots in this year’s draft.
“I mean, you know, come on man, let’s be honest, I’ve been playing this game long enough to know, like that’s the right pick,” he said. “And I’ve said it numerous, numerous times that, you know what you’re not going to get out of me is a disgruntled person. You know, ‘Mac and Cheese’ is a person who has ever since I’ve seen him….came on into the locker room with a business approach, you know, doing the initiatives of learning his teammates, understanding that, you know, I got to raise my level of play, you know from the collegiate level to the professional level and I’m here for him. As well as he’s here for me, just like [Jarrett] Stidham and Brian Hoyer… it’s no different.
“Our job is to be the best player that we could possibly be for the New England Patriots. No matter what is asked of us, it’s our job to be that. So that’s what it pretty much comes down to, so, when Mac was picked, you know, there was no type of ill will….Because, competition brings out the best in everybody.”
— Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin (@KeyJayandZ) July 15, 2021
Despite a disappointing season in 2020 that saw him throw just 368 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions en route to a 7-8 record as a starter, Newton is the still the frontrunner to reclaim the QB1 role in 2021.
However, the way the former Panthers superstar performs in his second year with the Pats will likely affect how soon we see Jones take the field this coming season.
New England will kickoff its 2021 season with a Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 12.