The New England Patriots have released quarterback Cam Newton, according to NFL Network and ESPN.
Newton, a former league MVP who led the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2015 season, was entering his second season with New England. He replaced legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who left in free agency prior to the 2020 season to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last season, Newton started 15 games for the Patriots, throwing eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Patriots finished with a 7-9 record in 2020, marking their first losing season since 2000.
Newton's release comes hours before NFL teams are required to cut rosters down from 80 players to 53 players.
The move opens the door for Mac Jones, a rookie quarterback out of Alabama, to be New England's new starter. Jones was taken 15th overall by New England in the 2021 draft.
Jones won two college football national championships in his time with the Crimson Tide.