The New England Patriots created the biggest news of the final NFL roster cuts this week when they released former league MVP Cam Newton. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick chose rookie Mac Jones to be the team's starter for the 2021 NFL season.
The decision has been debated by NFL insiders and fans ever since, and former Patriots player Jermaine Wiggins has publicly questioned Belichick’s quarterback choice.
Wiggins believes Bill Belichick's decision could turn out to be "really ugly"
Wiggins spoke with NBC Boston yesterday about why he thinks Bill Belichick made a mistake in choosing Mac Jones over Cam Newton.
"I think it’s a huge mistake and it has the potential to be really ugly," Wiggins said Wednesday on NBC Sports Boston's Early Edition. "The fact that you’re handing the keys to your organization to a rookie, on a team that we all expected based on what they did in the offseason has got to be a playoff-caliber football team. Every rookie quarterback is going to deal with growing pains, is going to deal with, you know what, now I’m in the NFL, it’s no longer preseason. They’re the disguising coverages, they’re blitzing, they’re doing all types of things that I’ve never seen before. And it’s just gonna take time for Mac to see certain things."
The former Patriots tight end is worried about the pressure the team is placing on Mac Jones.
"The time that it might take might be the difference between wins and losses, and the pressure that you’re putting on this kid, on a team that is expected to make the postseason based on the players that they have in that locker room. If he comes out and he plays bad, you don’t think all eyes are gonna be on him in the media? And there might be some guys in that locker room going, well, did you make the right decision? Did we rush this kid in too early to play?"
After all the offseason moves the New England Patriots have made, Wiggins believes the team should make the playoffs. He's not confident that a rookie QB is the right leader for this Pats squad.
"That’s the only issue that I have when you’re dealing with a rookie quarterback and basically saying we have a playoff team. You don’t know how that’s gonna affect them if things tend to go wrong or if there tend to be issues with (what) most rookie quarterbacks to deal with."
Jermaine Wiggins played tight end for the Pats for two seasons from 2000-2002. He was a part of the team that won the franchise's first NFL championship at Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams.
Jones will get his first chance to prove Jermaine Wiggins wrong when the Patriots face the Miami Dolphins on September 12.