It appears the New England Patriots' quarterback competition has been settled.
The Patriots have released veteran QB Cam Newton, The Boston Globe's Jim McBride reported Tuesday. Rookie Mac Jones has been named the starter, per McBride.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick declined to name a starting quarterback throughout the preseason and praised Newton as recently as Tuesday morning.
"Certainly he started at a much higher point than what he did last year. So, definitely moving in the right direction," Belichick said in a press conference about two hours before McBride's report.
While Newton played well at times this summer, Jones has made great strides since the Patriots selected him No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Alabama product completed 36 of 52 passes (69.2%) over three preseason games with one touchdown and no interceptions and excelled in joint practices with the New York Giants last week with Newton sidelined due to COVID protocols.
As NBC Sports Boston's Tom E. Curran wrote Monday, Jones did enough to earn the starting QB job from Newton, and it appears Bill Belichick has rewarded the rookie for his efforts.