The Patriots cut some high-profile players over the years. Nobody can argue with this that. Brown only played a single game for the franchise before they unceremoniously released him. This came after news broke of his alleged sexual assault. It immediately cast his future into doubt. Crazily, it wasn’t even the first time an NFL team cut him.
The Oakland Raiders also released the wideout because of personal issues. NBC reported that he argued with the team over which helmet to wear and had a fallout with the front office. Brown’s indiscipline made him a nightmare to work with and ultimately they showed him the door. He rebounded with Tampa Bay and even won a Super Bowl.
To say that the Patriots released Brady isn’t 100% accurate because technically he walked off his own accord. However, the circumstances that enabled his free agency were of New England’s making. In short, it all came down to money. Brady wanted a long-term contract but the Patriots weren’t prepared to hand one to their quadragenarian quarterback (via SB Nation).
The two parties failed to agree to a new contract and ultimately Brady became a free agent. But if the Patriots wanted to keep him they definitely could have. There were problems behind the scenes because of Brady’s cold relationship with Bill Belichick. Another factor was that Brady felt undervalued. The Patriots wanted to move him on and succeeded.
Mac Jones fell into the Patriots’ lap in 2021 but nobody expected him to start in Week One. It looked like former League MVP Newton was in the driving seat because of his age and experience. Neither signal-caller set the world on fire during the preseason. However, Bill Belichick had other ideas and made a stunning decision when he announced his final roster.
The Patriots released Newton and designated Jones as their starter. Newton infuriated the franchise after failing to follow health protocols (via Sporting News). His lack of professionalism combined with his patchy 2020 season made it easy. They decided to focus on the future and make Jones into potentially the next Tom Brady. It was a bold call but a very exciting one.