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NFL execs on Patriots' QB decision: Mac Jones' potential as starter, landing spots for Cam Newton, more

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Expectations for Mac Jones and the Patriots this season (1:29)

Harry Douglas and Max Kellerman outline what they expect from the Patriots and rookie QB Mac Jones in 2021. (1:29)

A former NFL MVP getting cut is always major news, but what quarterback Cam Newton's release from the New England Patriots represents is far juicier: Mac Jones is QB1 in New England, becoming the third rookie quarterback of the 2021 class to earn a starting job in the NFL, alongside Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville and Zach Wilson in New York.

By all accounts, Jones took the starting job from Newton because of his accuracy and decision-making in the preseason -- especially with Newton in COVID-19 protocol last week, which caused him to miss five days and opened a door Jones swiftly entered. But Newton was once poised to take ownership of this job, with several sources saying months ago that Pats coach Bill Belichick would roll with Newton until something happened, or someone changed that plan by earning it on the practice fields. Newton signed a one-year deal in March, just over a month before the Patriots used the No. 15 overall pick in the draft on Jones.

With the news still fresh, we made some calls and texts around the league to properly assess the situation and forecast what's next for Jones, Newton and the Patriots. Why did the Patriots make this decision, and what will their offense look like with Jones at the helm? And where could Newton land now?

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