Patriots

Drew Bledsoe believes Cam Newton should be the Patriots’ starting QB in 2021

Bledsoe thinks that Mac Jones can benefit from sitting for a season.

John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
The Patriots' quarterback battle between Mac Jones and Cam Newton has several people weighing in. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Drew Bledsoe isn’t a stranger to quarterback battles.

In a story that’s been told well more than several times, Bledsoe lost his starting quarterback spot to the young Tom Brady in 2001. Five years later, Bledsoe lost his starting quarterback job with the Cowboys to a younger Tony Romo.

So, maybe it isn’t a surprise that Bledsoe is siding with the veteran Cam Newton over the rookie Mac Jones in the Patriots’ quarterback battle. But Bledsoe has multiple reasons why he thinks Newton should get the nod over Jones for the upcoming season.

“I think they’ve got to let Cam go a little bit. And I would really like to see Cam get a full year,” Bledsoe said in an interview on CBS Sports’ “The Zach Gelb Show.” “Last year, the cupboard was kind of empty up there, and I think everybody recognizes that now. There wasn’t a lot in terms of weapons for him. They went out and got some weapons, and I think it’d be great to see Cam get back out there and show why he was an NFL MVP.”

Advertisement:

As Bledsoe mentioned, the Patriots revamped their wide receiver and tight end positions this offseason, signing Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor, and Kendrick Bourne to noteworthy deals. On paper, the talent at those spots should be better than they were last year.

Newton admitted to struggling with learning the Patriots’ system in a short amount of time last season, especially after his bout with COVID-19. A year in New England under his belt could give him an edge this season, especially over a rookie.

The Patriots started Newton in their preseason opener against the Washington Football Team on Thursday and Bill Belichick has stated Newton’s the starting quarterback whenever he’s been asked. That hasn’t slowed down the hype train for Jones though, who received an ovation from the fans when he entered Thursday’s preseason game.

After Jones played two-plus quarters against Washington, a lot of the reaction focused on when Jones will get his shot to be the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Bledsoe thinks that it’d be best for the Patriots and Jones to wait a bit before letting the young quarterback become the full-time starter.

“It’d also be pretty good for Mac to watch it for a year and then be ready to rock going forward,” Bledsoe said. “But I’d love to see Cam get a chance to get out there and get after it and show what he can really do.”

Advertisement:

In Thursday’s preseason game, Newton completed 4-of-7 passes for 49 yards over two drives, leading the Patriots to a field goal on one of them. Jones completed 13-of-19 passes for 87 yards, leading the Patriots to two field goal drives.

The Patriots will play again on Thursday against the Eagles after holding joint practices with them earlier in the week. They finish up the preseason against the Giants on Aug. 29 and start the regular season at home against the Dolphins on Sept. 12.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com