New England Patriots

Aug 12, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) walks on to the field before a game against the Washington Football Team at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton is getting cryptic on Instagram again.

The Patriots quarterback posted a new set of photos to Instagram account on Friday, less than 24 hours after he started the Pats’ first preseason game of 2021 against the Washington Football Team. Newton gave way to rookie Mac Jones after going 4-of-7 for 49 yards through the air, a 78.9 passer rating.

Newton seems to remain the Patriots’ presumptive starting quarterback for Week 1 of the 2021 regular season. So why is he talking about loyalty now?

“I’m far from perfect … but loyalty, I deserve it!” the caption reads on Newton’s post, which you can see below. At least two Patriots teammates, tackle Trent Brown and running back Brandon Bolden, have liked the post as of this writing.

It’s unclear who or what Newton is referring to with the demand for “loyalty.” It could be the fans, who unsurprisingly gave Jones a deafening ovation when he entered the game. Could be head coach Bill Belichick, who continues to give Jones a long look in practice and now in games, often with starters. Perhaps even his own teammates, who may be gravitating toward the promising rookie behind the scenes.

Newton should eventually accept that, in the NFL, loyalty can be maintained for only so long. If he wants to keep his hold on the starting QB job, he’s going to have to play well and do it on a weekly basis.

Though Newton should still be considered likely to begin the season as the starter, maybe he’s realizing that it’s no guarantee he will end it as the starter, too.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.