Atlanta’s native son Cam Newton was cut by the New England Patriots this week, which was considered by many a surprising move.
The former MVP and three-time Pro Bowl quarterback was the team’s starter just one year ago and was practically the pick to lead the team this year.
But in the eyes of six-time Super Bowl-winning head coach Bill Belichick, someone better came along.
The Patriots drafted former Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, and he’s done nothing but shine in preseason play and impress the coaching staff.
Despite a bit of controversy revolving around the topic of COVID vaccinations, Belichick declared the decision to cut Newton was strictly about football.
“I feel like whatever we do in the next couple days, like every day, should be what’s best for our football team and that’s what we’ll try to do,” the head coach said during a press conference. “ … We’ll do what’s best for the team.”
While this could be considered overused coachspeak, it’s the right mindset to have when trying to put a team in position to succeed.
Based on “expert” opinions, Newton’s play style didn’t bode well for the team’s preferred play style. Newton is considered a run-first guy. He’s never had the best arm talent, and isn’t a pocket passer. He’s also 32 years old, which is considered end-of-prime, nearing retirement territory for most athletes — obviously there are exceptions; see a guy named Tom Brady.
Jones, on the other hand, is a pocket passer. He has quality arm talent and played in a similar system in college. Unlike Cam, Jones isn’t flashy and will likely never have the charisma of the Auburn product. Jones also isn’t a proven leader in the NFL like Newton. We can never forget the year Newton led Carolina to a Super Bowl appearance.
But regardless of how unpopular or surprising the decision was to cut Newton, if it was truly best for the team, the results will prove it.
Though it isn’t related to sports, we have a similar situation taking place in the Newton County Board of Commissioners’ quest to hire a full-time, in-house attorney.
Currently, Megan Martin of the Jarrard & Davis law firm serves the county in an interim role and has been doing so for a number of years. Based on her production, she appears to be a quality candidate and deserves to be considered for a full-time role. And that’s exactly why she was offered a six-month contract to take on the position.
Now, there has been much speculation about the intent of this offer. Many believe other factors not pertinent to the job are the reason for such an offer. I must agree, it is quite hard to believe that after hearing from four other candidates the best our commissioners could agree to offer Martin was a six-month contract to leave her current post and essentially jumpstart and lead a new county government department. Frankly, there isn’t much security or stability with that type of offer.
Rather than beat up our commissioners or fail miserably at telling them how to do their job, I’d rather remind them of something: At the end of the day, winning teams do what’s best for their team, and in turn, successful organizations do what’s best for the organization. Whatever differences there may be among our commissioners and our county employees, I hope the unimportant and irrelevant matters can be laid aside so every decision made is with the people of Newton County’s best interest at the forefront. And if this happens, we’ll not only see the results, but we might like them, too.
Taylor Beck is editor and publisher of The News. Reach him at email@example.com.