BOSTON (CBS) —  In his post-football career, Julian Edelman is trying his hand as an analyst. So of course the former Patriots receiver would be asked about New England’s decision to roll with Mac Jones at quarterback over veteran Cam Newton.

While Tuesday’s release of Newton shocked many across the football world, Edelman is not in that camp. Not after spending a decade watching Bill Belichick work.

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“Nothing surprises me with Bill. Just look at the history,” Edelman said on a conference call Wednesday. “Logan Mankins was let go. Lawyer Milloy, [Richard] Seymour. I think the kid came out and did very well. You could see in his eyes, see in his reads, that he felt very comfortable in the pocket.  He was looking at the right areas. He ran the no-huddle well.

“I don’t think he beat [Newton] out, but the ceiling is so high and after spending the 15th overall pick on him, they’re going to go with him,” added Edelman. “It didn’t surprise me.”

Edelman only played five games with Newton last season before his season — and career — came to an end because of a knee injury. Edelman enjoyed being teammates with Newton, and was sad to see the veteran get released on Tuesday.

“I feel bad for him with that whole situation. I don’t think they wanted a distraction and wanted to give him a chance to go out and get on another team,” he said of Newton. “But it’s not a very surprising act by the Patriots.”

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Belichick went all out this offseason to rebuild the Patriots into a winner. He spent more money on free agents than he ever had, bringing in the likes of talented pass rusher Matt Judon, a versatile defensive back in Jalen Mills, and a pair of incredible playmakers at tight end in Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry.

Edelman was asked if that offseason spending spree was Belichick’s response to Tom Brady winning a Super Bowl as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“I think it has to do with multiple things. They had money to spend. The last 20 years when you have a dynasty, it’s hard to spend money when you don’t have the money,” he said. “He was building the teams with the players he had around him that suited those teams. This is a completely new year, completely new era, so he had to go out and create a new team.

“I don’t know if that was the reason, because Tom went out and won a Super Bowl, but it could be,” he said with a slight chuckle.

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Whatever Belichick’s reasoning was, the Patriots figure to be a whole lot better than they were in 2020.

CBSBoston.com Staff