In a stunning move Tuesday morning, the New England Patriots have released quarterback Cam Newton, paving the way for Mac Jones as the team's starting quarterback.

Newton started all three preseason games for the Patriots after playing in 15 games a season ago, but it was Jones who looked the part of a QB1 in the exhibition season, completing 36-of-52 passes for 389 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.

The move was first reported by Jim McBride of The Boston Globe.

It brings an abrupt end to Newton’s stay in New England, which is trying to rebound from a disjointed 2020 season. Newton finished 7-8 as the starter in his first season since taking over for Tom Brady following his departure to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Newton reacted to the release on Instagram.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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