The NFL season is back without one of its stars, Cam Newton. Ironically, the former New England QB revealed his feelings in depth.
The free-agent quarterback released a video in his Funky Friday series on his YouTube channel. The purpose? To discuss his release from the New England Patriots.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2021
Consequently, the video is Newton’s first remarks since the team cut him ten days ago. He set it off with a conversation with his father to clarify that he would not be retiring.
Keeping It Funky
“Did it catch me by surprise being released? Absolutely,” Newton said in a video released Friday morning.
Newton, 32, took it back to the soil with Cecil Newton, Sr. In addition, the two conversed on the football field at Newton’s high school alma mater in Atlanta.
Cam Newton was not bad last year. pic.twitter.com/G9ffXOjbtx
— 8TheGOAT24 (@24IamTheGOAT8) September 4, 2021
Newton’s father asked if he believed his son’s five-day absence led to his release. He prefaced by saying this was not an angry Black man conversation.
“During that time, I started seeing signs of change,” said Cam. “Do I think this would have happened without me being away from the team for five days? Honestly, yes. It was going to happen. Did it help ease the decision? Yes.”
However, Newton was nothing but complementary to New England Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones. He said he “absolutely” would have been willing to serve as a backup to the rookie.
The Big Reveal
In addition, during the meeting with head coach Bill Belichick, Newton detailed his confusion. He was learning that Mac Jones was the starting QB. It wasn’t immediately apparent that this was the signal for his release.
Cam Newton says Mac Jones would have been "uncomfortable" with him as the Patriots backup QB. pic.twitter.com/6COty1cUuc
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 10, 2021
Newton detailed how he arrived at Gillette Stadium around 8 a.m. on Aug. 31. However, he heard Bill Belichick wanted to see him and noted the coach was in a different office. That was a significant signal.
“Matt Patricia [Patriots senior football adviser] was there, Bill was there, and we greeted each other and just started talking,” Newton said. “At that time, they told me they were going to give the reins to Mac. I was like, ‘Cool.’
“It didn’t dawn on me, ‘Y’all releasing me?’ I was confused. We all were shocked. It was all uncomfortable for everybody.”
“Let me be honest with you. If they would have asked me, ‘Cam, we’re going to give the team to Mac, you’re going to be second string; we expect you to be everything and some to guide him throughout this tenure,’ I would have said, ‘Absolutely. But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable.”
Everybody Hates Cam
Newton acknowledged that his presence is all-encompassing and would have been a pressure cooker for the rookie.
Cam Newton opened up about being released by the Patriots: pic.twitter.com/E8CDY8OJw2
— ESPN (@espn) September 10, 2021
“The reason why they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction, without being a starter. Just my aura. That’s my gift and my curse. When you bring Cam Newton into your facility [and] your franchise, people are interested by mere fact of ‘Who is he?”
“Mac Jones didn’t beat me out. But I would have been a distraction. If they would have gave him the starting role, they knew the perception that it would have had if the success didn’t come.”
“That time with me finding out [about the release] and kind of seeing things different, when I look back at it, I was probably getting two reps to his ten reps. And that’s why it was starting to make sense. Even though I was starting, that doesn’t necessarily mean nothing.
“I think that’s where they did a good job with kind of disguising it: ‘Cam took first-team reps today.’ But [media members] didn’t know the practice structure. The first-team goes down, the second team goes back, and then the first team comes back, too. And that’s when [Jones] was getting his first-team reps.”
Setting The Record Straight
In addition, Newton also expanded on what happened with him and the COVID-19 protocols. He said he was traveling for a second opinion on his foot. He underwent surgery for a Lisfranc injury in 2019.
Cam Newton set the record straight after his release 🗣 pic.twitter.com/YYNmk4j7tz
— PFF (@PFF) September 10, 2021
“This had nothing to do with no vaccination. They gave me clearance to go. I’m owed a second opinion. This was the last time I felt that I was going to have an opportunity to get a second opinion,” Newton said.
“Not to say the personnel with the Patriots wasn’t coherent to telling me everything I needed to know, but having four eyes on it is better than having two eyes on it, in my opinion. It wasn’t that I was having any issues or pain.
“I crossed all the lines, I checked all the boxes, I dotted all my ‘I’s,’ and then to find out that I had to sit out, that’s when I kind of felt like bamboozled because ‘Y’all told me to go.’ It wasn’t like, ‘Cam, you know if you go, you’re taking it on your risk.'”
Rebirth of Cam
Newton’s absolution from the Patriots decision bookended with his father bringing up all the barbershop conversation topics. He showed a full circle approach going back home to Atlanta to his high school field.
Julian Edelman doesn’t think Mac Jones actually beat out Cam Newton this preseason:
“I don’t think [Mac] beat [Cam] out, but the ceiling is so high and after spending the 15th overall pick on him, they’re going to go with him. It didn’t surprise me.” pic.twitter.com/5U7cFdsXpy
— Guy Boston Sports (@GuyBostonSports) September 2, 2021
“I’m going to remove all doubt. There’s not 32 guys out there that’s better than me, bro. Let’s be honest. Out of those 32, if given the opportunity to show what I can do, its going to be what it’s going to be.”
As Cam Newton continues to redefine masculinity as an NFL quarterback, he and his father ensured that the record reflected the cultural opinion.