When it comes to discussing Mac Jones' career thus far in New England, everyone has their opinions, and there's virtually nothing that can be said to change their mind. Some believe he was never a good quarterback, claiming he was carried by his stellar offense at Alabama, which made his failure in New England unsurprising.
Others feel he was the right quarterback on the right team, but lousy coaching, development, and roster building hindered his career, resulting in the third-year player being benched earlier this season.
Perhaps the best route to take is to suggest the truth is somewhere in the middle, assigning blame to all involved for how Jones has gotten to this point in his short career. But what do others think about the situation? We've heard from former Patriots, analysts, and media members who have expressed their varying opinions, and now Cam Newton has entered the chat.
The former MVP has continued to make headlines recently due to his takes shared on his "4th & 1" show on YouTube. Although he talks about all aspects of the game, he focuses on quarterbacks the most, as that is where his expertise lies. And after stirring up some drama comparing game managers to game changers last week, he has made another controversial statement.
In one of the latest clips posted on his show's social media, Newton discusses when younger quarterbacks finally hit their stride in the NFL. He lists a few examples of guys whose confidence has exuded this season, like Justin Fields, Jared Goff, and Tua Tagovailoa, before moving on to quarterbacks who have shown the opposite feeling.
Newton acknowledges how often we see young signal callers not getting the proper coaching, development, or personnel around them, which makes them look and feel like they don't belong. And because of that, he believes front offices need to be held more accountable for allowing that to unfold on their dime.
Maybe he didn't name-drop Mac Jones necessarily, but given his closeness to the quarterback during his rookie season and his previously expressed opinions about Jones and his situation, this could easily apply to what's going on with the Patriots this year.
On top of that, their mishandling of Malik Cunningham also fits in this conversation.
Newton makes a fair point, though. For some reason, when any highly-touted player doesn't live up to the hype, all the blame is put squarely on their shoulders. The emphasis on how critical coaching is for young players is thrown out the window, and they are expected to overcome it all and play like seasoned veterans.
That's been the case with Jones, who shined in his rookie season and has quickly fallen from grace since then. But why should his regression be solely his fault? Wasn't he said to be put in the best situation of all the other quarterbacks that year because he had Bill Belichick?
Part of it may be due to hesitancy to blame Belichick for failing a player after the illustrious career he has had, which makes sense to a degree. However, part of the job is appropriately building up a player, honing their talents as best as possible, and surrounding them with talent that helps them be successful on the field.
That doesn't seem to be what has happened with Jones, and maybe Robert Kraft deserves a bit more blame for watching and allowing it to transpire this way, precisely as Newton said.