With the shocking move to cut quarterback Cam Newton, the New England Patriots have put all their eggs in the Mac Jones basket.

Patriots players had sparkling reviews for the rookie QB, who played more like a grizzled veteran in the preseason rather than a youngster in over his head. Jones has shown a proficiency and poise that has garnered the respect of his teammates who are only just seeing him play in NFL action for the very first time.

Via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal:

“Mac Jones, he’s going to be that guy,” said Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson. “I mean, he’s a rookie, but he plays like a vet. The way he reads defense. The way he steps up in the pocket, delivers the ball. He’s improved since the first time I’ve seen him.”

One interesting wrinkle was recently shared by former Patriots player Rob Ninkovich on The Dan and Ninko Show. The two-time Super Bowl winner claimed to receive a tip from “inside sources” from within the building:

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Ninko says he knows why Cam Newton got released from the #Pats 🤔 #patriots #nepatriots #camnewton #macjones #espn

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“From everything that I understand now, Mac was basically helping Cam learn the playbook,” claims the former Patriots linebacker. “Mac was having less mental errors and having a better understanding of the offense. We didn’t see Cam run any two-minute (drill), we didn’t see him run any no-huddle. You have to run no-huddle. That’s vital.”

The piece of intel is pretty damning, if true. For a veteran QB and former MVP to allegedly have to share notes on the playbook with a fresh-faced QB, it’s definitely an embarrassing bit of news. Whether it’s true or not remains to be seen, but the Patriots have made it abundantly clear that they’re riding with Mac Jones over Cam Newton. That’s pretty telling in and of itself.