Cutting Cam Newton is the latest in a long line of unpopular — but ultimately successful — moves by the Patriots head coach/general manager Bill Belichick.
When news broke that Bill Belichick cut quarterback Cam Newton in favor of Mac Jones, the NFL world buzzed with the implications this has for the two quarterbacks and the future of the Patriots franchise.
The decision was shocking: Belichick was “raving” about Newton back in March, and the Patriots made it clear they wanted to give him a fair chance at starting after a lackluster 2020 season. However, the discrepancy in performance between Newton and Jones widened into a gulf during the preseason, with the latter demonstrating capability in a more dynamic, pass-oriented offense.
If anyone will ignore popular opinion or veteran deference, it’s Bill: it’s what’s made him hated and doubted by analysts until his teams make the playoffs.
Over three decades, the infamous Patriots head coach has made a name in unpopular roster decisions since he first had hiring and firing authority with the Cleveland Browns.
Here are the top five unbelievable roster moves orchestrated by the man known as “Doom” over the years.
Here’s where the ire with Bill Belichick’s roster moves all began: back in Cleveland in 1993, when Belichick was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
At the press conference announcing his release, Belichick said that “basically, it came down to his production and a diminishing of his physical skills.”
There were also reports that Belichick and Kosar debated over how to run the Browns offense, with Kosar defying Belichick’s playcalls at the line of scrimmage. These are two key indicators of an upcoming Belichick release: a player’s decline in performance and a refusal to “do your job.”
As incensed as Belichick was, Browns fans were even more furious that the Ohio native was cut unceremoniously. The decision contributed to Belichick’s eventual firing as head coach after a 5-11 season in 1995.