Drafting Alabama quarterback Mac Jones in the first round Thursday night marked the start of a new era for the Patriots.
How fast will that era begin? Not even Jones knows.
For now, the 22-year-old expects to serve as Cam Newton’s backup, declaring an hour after his selection that the Pats are Newton’s team.
“He just has fun with it, and I do, too, so hopefully we can have fun together. And I’ll help him out, like I said. It’s his show,” Jones said. “And I’m just there to support him and just help out the team in whatever way I can.”
In his first press conference as a Patriot, Jones repeatedly deferred to Newton and Jarrett Stidham and said he plans to support them both this season. It nonetheless reasons that all three will have a shot at the starting quarterback job this summer.
Jones was considered the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft, despite being the fifth taken Thursday night. Meanwhile, Newton is entering his second season with the Pats, after missing the offseason program, OTAs and a full preseason slate in 2020. The former MVP often remarked about how his lack of practice time and experience within the team’s system affected his regular-season performance. Despite his struggles, Newton maintained the immense respect of his teammates, who voted him a team captain in early September.
The Patriots are expected to reconvene for a mandatory minicamp in June, the first time all three quarterbacks will hit the field in pads together in Foxboro.