New England Patriots: 3 interesting position battles on offense

Mac Jones #50 watches teammate Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Mac Jones #50 watches teammate Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /
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New England Patriots
Mac Jones #50 watches teammate Cam Newton #1 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots position battle No. 1: Quarterback

What other position could this have been? Ever since the Patriots drafted Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in this year’s draft, everyone has wondered when he would eventually take over for Cam Newton. And while at first it seemed extremely likely that Newton would at least start the season, that likelihood has certainly shrunk after an impressive training camp from Jones.

Newton will still probably start the season, but the gap between him and Jones is much closer than originally expected. The question is how short is Newton’s leash at this point. And is there really a possibility Jones could be New England’s Week 1 starter?

While that’s the main battle going on here, there’s also turmoil at the bottom of the depth chart. Jarrett Stidham has been out for most of camp with an injury, and there’s a chance his time with the team is over. Brian Hoyer seemingly has the third spot on the depth chart locked up, but if New England needs to create a roster spot for someone else, they should have no qualms about cutting Hoyer.

That leaves Newton and Jones at the top of the chart. After speculation for much of the offseason over whether or not there would be a position battle at quarterback, it appears that may have actually come to fruition.

Jones got the bulk of the action in New England’s preseason opener, which shows the coaching staff is intent at taking a longer look at the first round rookie. The question is whether he is better than Newton; we as fans are all asking it, and so is the coaching staff. They know what they have in Newton, which is why it makes sense Jones is getting an extended look.

I’ve already touched upon this elsewhere, but this is bad news if you are Cam Newton. If Jones is getting this much action early on, it probably signals the coaching staff is thinking about handing Jones the starting position sometime down the line, if not at the start of the season. It’s not even that Newton has failed to meet expectations, just that Jones has exceeded his. Sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Next. Which running back is the odd man out. dark

There’s still time for things to change, but it would be a shock if Jones is starting Week 1. Initially, I thought Newton would probably bridge the position for the entire season, but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Whereas Newton probably had a little room for error coming into training camp, that has seemingly vanished after training camp.

Newton probably starts Week 1, but there’s an increasingly likely chance Jones takes over at some point down the line, especially if Newton struggles. Maybe Newton kills it to start the season, and makes the entire discussion look foolish. But for those looking for a position battle at quarterback, it looks like you have certainly got it for the rest of preseason.