Which Patriots QB Will Start Week 1? Odds For Cam Newton vs. Mac Jones
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Newton
Patriots Week 1 Starting QB Odds
|Odds as of May 25 and via DraftKings.|
The quarterback situation in New England is far from resolved heading into 2021 in spite of some major moves this offseason.
Ever since the departure of eight-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady heading into the 2020 season, the Patriots have struggled finding a long-term quarterback solution. New England inked former Panthers signal-caller Cam Newton in the summer of 2020 to a one-year deal, though the former NFL MVP struggled in his inaugural season in Foxboro.
Still, Newton — who inked an extension this offseason — leads the pack as the heavy favorite to be the team’s Week 1 starter at -278 odds (73.5% implied probability). The 32-year-old started 15 games for the Patriots last season (missed one due to COVID-19) and completed 65.8% of his passes for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions as well as rushed for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Next up is former Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones at +275 odds (26.7%) to take the Patriots’ first snap in Week 1. Jones, 22, was very much in the conversation to be selected at No. 3 overall by the 49ers, but ended up slipping to No. 15 and was the fifth QB taken off the board in this year’s draft.
“At the end of the day, you kind of want to get the right fit. I feel like, secretly, I really wanted to go to the Patriots all along. So I’m actually really happy it happened,” Jones said at the time.
The Patriots hope the two-time national champion can develop into a franchise QB who can finally fill the gaping void left by Brady. Jones has received high marks as an accurate pocket passer with a strong football IQ throughout the football community. However, his subpar athleticism, inexperience and near-perfect situation at Alabama surrounded by a plethora of first-round talent have raised concerns about how successful he can be in the NFL.
Last on the board is 24-year-old Jarrett Stidham with +900 odds (10%). Stidham is a 2019 fourth-round pick from Auburn who has seen very limited playing time since entering the league. He has eight appearances (zero starts) and has completed 24-of-48 attempts for 270 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions.
Jones has already elicited praise from his coaches and teammates, who were, “blown away” by the rookie according to Justin Ramos of UStadium. That said, the Patriots could opt to redshirt the first rounder for a season (or at least a handful of games) to allow him to develop behind Newton.
Head coach Bill Belichick is notoriously mercurial when it comes to roster decisions, so expect these odds to move throughout the offseason.