This qualifies as a big shocker, even if Jones has played well during camp and preseason in the competition with Newton.
The Patriots move ahead with their presumptive franchise quarterback, leaving major questions about Newton’s NFL future.
Newton, 32, is a former first-round pick of the Panthers back in 2011. He was entering the fifth year of his six-year, $118.47 million contract that includes $60 million guaranteed and set to make base salaries of $16.2 million and $18.6 million over the final two years of the agreement when the Panthers cut him this offseason.
The Patriots later signed Newton to a one-year deal in June of last year and returned to New England on another one-year contract this past March.
In 2020, Newton appeared in 14 games for the Patriots and completed 65.4 percent of his passes for 2,415 yards, five touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He has also rushed for 513 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Jones, 22, took over as the starter for the Crimson Tide in 2020 and led one of the best offenses in school history. He was a consensus All-American as a redshirt Junior and won the Davey O’Brien Award. The Patriots took Jones with pick No. 15 overall.
Jones is projected to sign a four-year, $15,586,353 contract with the Patriots that includes a $8,695,530 signing bonus. The Patriots will have a fifth-year option to pick up on him in 2024.
During his three-year college career at Alabama, Jones completed 74.3 percent of his passes for 4,500 yards, 41 touchdowns and four interceptions over the course of 30 games.