Cam Newton is expected to be the New England Patriots' starter in Week 1 if he performs well in training camp and the preseason.
But at least one of his new teammates believes that's no guarantee.
Recently-signed edge rusher Matthew Judon was asked about expectations for Newton Monday on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" and set a high bar for the veteran quarterback.
"I expect him to put his best foot forward," Judon said. "When he comes into meetings, being in the front of the meetings. He will be attentive and then when we get out on the field, he’s the loudest on the field. He’s always having fun with it. I expect him to go out there and treat it as a business and go out there and make plays and lead the quarterbacks, lead the team."
Judon also suggested there will be a legitimate competition between Newton and 2021 first-round pick Mac Jones.
"Whatever happens with the job or anything like that, (Newton) should be trying to do his best because he knows who we drafted and he knows how to work," Judon said. "He’s not new to this, not new to the NFL and we all know how it goes: If you’re not playing to a certain standard then it’s the next man up.
"I think he will be playing to that standard, but it’s yet to see. We’re going to see in a couple of weeks."
Even head coach Bill Belichick insisted Newton is the team's No. 1 QB after New England took Jones 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Newton is also well-respected among veteran players, so we wouldn't have been surprised if Judon backed the 32-year-old as the Patriots' starter.
Based on what we saw in organized team activities and minicamp, however, the Patriots are giving Jones a real chance to challenge Newton for the starting gig, and Judon seems aware of the possibility that the rookie could start in Week 1 if the veteran falters.
Players report to training camp July 27, with the first practice set for July 28.