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Cam Newton Is Sacking His NFL Future Beyond New England Patriots With His Play And His Mouth

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 10, 2021

Cam Newton is just 32. So, even though he hasn’t been that Cam Newton in seven NFL seasons, he wasn’t wrong Thursday, when he thought about all of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the league, rushed to his Instagram page and declared, “I’m gonna remove all doubt. I said it once. Now, I’ll say it again: there’s not 32 guys that are better than me, bro. And let’s be honest.”

Yep.

There might be only 31 guys better than Newton as starting NFL quarterbacks.

As for that one who should give his job to Newton, well, um. Come to think of it, maybe there are 32 guys better than Newton as starting NFL quarterbacks, at least when it comes to the overall fit for a franchise.

Newton still doesn’t get it. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have returned to social media Friday to make his situation worse, but first, what was Bill Belichick thinking? If any of the following sounds confusing regarding this guru of the New England Patriots, ranked No. 2 by Forbes in NFL team evaluations at $5 billion, then you’re among the sane:

  • Despite Newton’s underwhelming first and only season with the Patriots in 2020, Belichick re-signed him anyway. He gave Newton a one-year deal in March worth up to $13.6 million with incentives.
  • Belichick spent April drafting Alabama’s Mac Jones, supposedly the Patriots’ next Tom Brady (you know, the now 44-year-old quarterback who took New England to six Super Bowl victories, and then left after the 2020 season to win it all for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?). Even so, Belichick said at the start of training camp that Newton remained his starting quarterback.
  • Ten days ago, Belichick called Newton into his office to mention Jones would start this season for the Patriots, and then Belichick told Newton he had been released. To hear Belichick tell it, his whacking of Newton had nothing to do with what the team called a “misunderstanding” when Newton missed five days of practice due to a COVID-19 issue.

So, with that as a background, Newton said the following (among other things) Friday during a YouTube Live video with his father, Cecil, while they sat at the football field of Cam’s old high school in Atlanta.

“If they would have asked me, ‘Cam, we’re going to give the team to Mac [Jones], 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.”

Uh huh.

It got worse.

“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? Why does he wear his hair? Why does he talk? Why does he act? Why does he perform?’ All these questions.”

Cam still doesn’t get it.

Dude, it wasn’t the best talking (and acting) that way during your prime with the Carolina Panthers, along the way to three Pro Bowl trips during the first five of your nine seasons with the team. But this is nuts.

As I once wrote — referring to Newton winning the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award in 2015, while taking the Panthers to the Super Bowl before losing to the Denver Broncos — the following was tolerated by those in the Panthers’ organization during Cam’s first five seasons in the league, but it wasn’t embraced: That dabbing, that cupping of his hand to his ear after doing whatever he thought was otherworldly, the exaggerated first-down signals, the pouting on the sidelines and during press conferences.

Then came Newton’s four years after that 2015 Super Bowl season, when the Panthers went 23-23 with an injury prone quarterback whose production kept declining.

Suddenly, those Cam things weren’t tolerable anymore.

In March 2020, the Panthers gave Newton permission to find a team willing to make a trade for his services, but nobody wanted him. The Panthers released him a few weeks later into free agency. Then, four months later, Belichick, Mr. Boring, decided to sack logic by filling the massive hole on his roster after Brady bolted for Tampa with Newton, Mr. Flash.

Even though Newton left his drama in Carolina, it didn’t matter.

He couldn’t play. Well, he could run. He rushed for 592 yards and 12 touchdowns, but he ranked 24th in the NFL in passing yards (2,657). Worse, he threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (8).

That meant Newton’s decline reached a fifth consecutive year.

If Newton wished to have a shot at starting again in the NFL on a full-time basis, he needed to do two things: (1) Get better and (2) stay away from saying stuff like, “Just my aura. That’s my gift and my curse.”

It’s too late on both things.

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