Though by all accounts, Mac Jones performed well enough to be considered for the starting quarterback position, the New England Patriots surprised the football world by releasing Cam Newton today, paving the way for Jones to become the Patriots’ starter in Week 1. Jones will be the first rookie starting quarterback for the Patriots since Drew Bledsoe in 1993, and is believed to be the first Alabama rookie quarterback ever to start the first game of his rookie season. Jones’ performance in joint practices may have been a deciding factor. The Boston Globe looks at how the Patriots’ revamped offense puts Jones in a good spot to succeed. The Athletic has a timeline on Jones’ rapid ascension to the starting role, as well as a piece on why Jones won the job.
While the news in Foxboro was great for Alabama fans, news was brutal across the rest of the NFL footprint, as rosters were trimmed from 80 to 53 today. Several former Alabama players were waived or released, including vested veterans Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Gehrig Dieter, Ryan Anderson, and Damion Square. Some other surprise waivers included J.K. Scott and Christian Miller. The vested veterans become immediate free agents, while the others are subject to waiver claims until tomorrow afternoon. Teams can begin filling out 16-man practice squads tomorrow after 4pm ET, so many players will end up back in the organization that waived them. See the transactions section below for all of the roster moves reported today.
Jalen Hurts was officially named the starting quarterback in Philadelphia. There was never another quarterback taking first team snaps, so there was never a competition, but today was the first time that Eagles coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged that Hurts was the starter.
Annika Zeyen picked up a gold medal in road cycling in the timed trial event at the Tokyo Paralympics. Zeyen completed the 16km trial in 32:46.97, which led her classification by approximately 44 seconds.
David Robertson joined the Tampa Bay Rays as a member of the three-man taxi squad today, and will be added to the Rays’ roster tomorrow when rosters expand to 28 players. Robertson expressed excitement to be back in the bigs and joining the Rays.
Alex Avila has rejoined the Washington Nationals after spending a few days at the Nats’ Florida complex site on a rehad assignment. Avila only appeared in one official game, but participated in several intrasquad games and caught a number of bullpens while in Florida. Avila could also be activated when rosters expand tomorrow.
Shelby McEwen won the high jump at the World Athletics Continental Tour stop in Italy today. McEwen’s winning jump was 2.28 meters, putting him ahead of recent Olympic gold medalist Gianmarco Tamberi. The win was McEwen’s first win in an international meet.
Haylie McCleney was the 2nd overall pick in this week’s Athletes Unlimited draft tonight, and will play for Team Vidales this week. Also, McCleney’s diving catch last night (see below) was picked as Athletes Unlimited’s Defensive Play of the Week.
Scenes and Highlights
- Ryan Anderson – released by the New York Giants.
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – released by the San Francisco 49ers.
- Gehrig Dieter – released by the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Damion Square – released by the New Orleans Saints.
- Tony Brown – waived by the Cincinnati Bengals.
- Shyheim Carter – waived by the Houston Texans.
- Lester Cotton – waived by the Las Vegas Raiders.
- B.J. Emmons – waived by the Las Vegas Raiders.
- Miller Forristall – waived by the Tennessee Titans.
- Derrick Gore – waived by the Kansas City Chiefs.
- Jared Mayden – waived by the San Francisco 49ers.
- Christian Miller – waived by the Carolina Panthers.
- Ross Pierschbacher – waived by the Philadelphia Eagles.
- J.K. Scott – waived by the Green Bay Packers.
- Saivion Smith – waived by the Denver Broncos.
- Carl Tucker – waived by the Miami Dolphins.
- Thomas Fletcher – placed on the Reserve / Injured list by the Carolina Panthers.
- Anfernee Jennings – placed on the Reserve / Injured list by the New England Patriots.
- Dylan Moses – placed on the Reserve / Non-Football Injury list by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Aaron Robinson – placed on the Reserve / Physically Unable to Perform list by the New York Giants.
- Chandler Taylor – placed on the development list by the Houston Astros organization.
- Kyle Kaufman – released by the Ogden Raptors.
ROAD CYCLING Paralympics Road Cycling, Women’s H-3 16km Time Trial: Annika Zeyen – 32:46.97, 1st; wins gold medal WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL Paralympics Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Quarterfinal United States 63, Canada 48. Lindsey Zurbrugg – 40 minutes, 10 points Bailey Moody – 3 minutes, 0 points Abby Bauleke – DNP Rosalie Lalonde – 24 minutes, 6 points. Arynn Young – 26 minutes, 11 points. Cindy Ouellet – 19 minutes, 9 points. Paralympics Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Quarterfinal Germany 57, Spain 33. Kate Lang – 29 minutes, 14 points. Barbara Gross – 8 minutes, 4 points. Catharina Weiss – 21 minutes, 0 points. Sara Revuelta – 29 minutes, 5 points. Paralympics Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Quarterfinal China 47, Great Britain 33. Laurie Williams – 21 minutes, 2 points. Jude Hamer – 4 minutes, 2 points. Joy Haizelden – 21 minutes, 2 points. TRACK & FIELD Continental Tour - Palio Città della Quercia Men’s High Jump: Shelby McEwen – 2.28 meters, 1st. BASEBALL Kansas City Monarchs 5, Sioux Falls 3 (Gm 1, F/7). Morgan McCullough (SS) – 3-4, 1 HR (13th), 2 singles, 3 RBI, 2 runs. Kansas City Monarchs 7, Sioux Falls 3 (Gm 2, F/7). Morgan McCullough (SS) – 2-4, 2 singles, 2 runs. Charlotte 1, Norfolk 0. Will Carter (H, 2) – 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K. Frisco 10, Midland 4. Chase Lee – 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K. St. Lucie 8, Jupiter 7. Sam Praytor (C) – 0-4, 1 BB. Amarillo 9, San Antonio 4. Kyle Overstreet (DH) – 1-4, 1 single. Schaumburg 12, Gateway 3. Geoffrey Bramblett (W, 3-0) – 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 6 BB, 6 K. Chicago Cubs 3, Minnesota 1. Adam Morgan (H, 3) – 0.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K. Eugene 6, Hillsboro 5. Brett Auerbach (2B) - 0-3, 1 sac.