Earlier this week, when the New England Patriots cut Cam Newton and decided to go with rookie Mac Jones as the opening day starting quarterback, most of us were very surprised.
One man who was not is club legend and now CBS Sports/Paramount+ Analyst Julian Edelman. New England was very aggressive in free agency this off-season, and their big spending to improve the roster really has a lot of people bullish on the Patriots prospects this season.
The Patriots opened as -1.5 favorites for their season opener, at home against the division rival Miami Dolphins. The best arizona sportsbooks have them available on the money line at -111. Obviously the line, ML and over/unders have shifted with the call to make the #15 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the rookie signal caller out of Alabama, the opening day QB1.
Having worked under Bill Belichick for 12 seasons, Edelman was not shocked
“Nothing surprises me with Bill,” he said during an Inside the NFL virtual media session.
“You look at the history. Logan Mankins was let go; Lawyer Milloy, Seymour, like it doesn’t surprise me. I think the kid came out and he did well. He did very well. You could see in his eyes, you could see in his reads that he felt comfortable in the pocket.”
He’s a real believer in big Mac. Edelman continued:
“He was looking at the right areas, intentionally watching these play calls and how he was handling them. He ran the no-huddle very well. I don’t think he quite beat them out, beat them out, but the ceiling is so high.
“They spent a 15 overall pick on the kid. They’re going to go with him. It didn’t surprise me.”
The three time Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl LIII MVP has a lot of sympathy for Newton though.
“It’s terrible for Cam,” Julian Edelman continued.
“I feel bad for him. But with that whole situation, I don’t think they wanted the distraction. I think they wanted him to — give him his rein to go out and try to get on another team. But like I said, that’s not a very surprising act by the Patriots, as you know.”
The member of the Patriots 2010s All Decade Team was asked, during the media Zoom session, if the impetus for the Pats’ aggressive off-season was Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay.
Julian Edelman said he didn’t know for sure, but it could be a combination of things, and that likely a number of factors played into their hitting the transfer market hard.
“I think they had money to spend,” he continued.
“From having a dynasty the last 20 years, it’s hard to spend the money when you don’t have the money…This is a completely new year, a completely new era, so he (Belichick) had to go out and build a new team.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.Follow paulmbanks