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#pounditFriday, June 24, 2022

Cam Newton

Cam Newton explains why he struggled in recent NFL stints

Cam Newton throws in warmups

Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton remains unemployed with NFL training camps looming, and is somewhat taking ownership of what he thinks is to blame for a rough few seasons.

Newton appeared on “The Pivot Podcast” and discussed his tenure with New England and his return to Carolina. The former MVP said he had put himself in some “f—ed up situations” that led to his poor play.

“I’ll own up to jumping up into some f—ed up situations,” Newton said in the podcast. “The New England experience was a f—ed up situation. I was still learning the offense seven to eight weeks into the season. … There was countless hours with Jedd Fisch, there was countless hours with Josh McDaniels, there was countless hours with so many different people trying to teach me certain things, and it was just brain overload. There was times I’m going to the line and I’m still thinking. Did I know it? Yes. To the degree that I needed to know it in order to show the world that I’m still Cam Newton? No. But I put myself in that situation.

“Carolina, I put myself in another f—ed up situation,” Newton continued. “I was signed on Thursday. I played on Sunday. At what point did you think you were going to be successful? That next week, I started. That’s still under ten days of me being on the team, and you’re still trying to learn an offense. … So before I sit up here and allow the narrative to be made that Cam ain’t got it no more, Cam is taking full responsibility in saying that Cam put himself in a f—ed up situation.”

Newton maintained that he still feels he is one of the 32 best quarterbacks in the league, and essentially said he had been too confident in himself in believing he could walk into the aforementioned situations and be successful.

Newton has something of a point in that he did not set himself up to succeed, especially in his second stint with Carolina. Still, he never really impressed with the Patriots even after a full season within the offense. The fact that New England released him at the end of his second preseason with the team suggests that concerns about his arm more than anything else were a major factor.

The veteran quarterback has only received limited interest from one team that we know of this offseason. He may have to accept that he won’t be a starter, at least initially, if he wants to find a place on a roster.

Panthers reportedly willing to bring back Cam Newton under 2 conditions

Cam Newton throws in warmups

Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton has struggled over his last two seasons, but the Carolina Panthers aren’t closing the door on bringing him back for 2022.

On Monday, Jonathan M. Alexander of the Charlotte Observer reported that the Panthers are open to signing Newton. Alexander says there are two conditions under which Carolina would sign Newton: he would not enter camp as the starter, and he would need to agree to a smaller salary.

Bringing in Newton on these terms could make sense for both parties. The former MVP’s best days seem to be behind him, but he’s familiar with the organization. Newton could also serve as a mentor to rookie quarterback Matt Corral.

The Panthers’ quarterback room of Sam Darnold, Corral and P.J. Walker is unproven. Newton could replace any of the three if they got hurt.

While Darnold is listed as the starter on the team’s current depth chart, the Panthers do have reported interest in two other quarterbacks. If the Panthers pick up either of them, Newton will likely need to look elsewhere for a job in 2022.

In eight games with the Panthers in 2021, Newton completed 54.8 percent of his passes for 4 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and 684 yards. He also rushed for 230 yards and 5 scores.

NFC team interested in signing Cam Newton?

Cam Newton throws in warmups

Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton has gotten multiple opportunities over the past two seasons to prove he is still capable of playing at a high level. He has failed to do that, but his most recent team apparently has not given up on him.

Carolina Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk this week that the team has not ruled out re-signing Newton. He said the Panthers have kept in contact with the former NFL MVP.

“We have to see how this works out here throughout the spring. I just happened to be up at the [Kentucky] Derby last weekend and Cam was up there. We’re texting a little bit,” Fitterer said. “The lines of communication are open. I know Coach Rhule has spoken with him. We are going to have a discussion at some point but we’re just not quite there yet, but we’ll see how it goes. The more competition we have at that position the better.”

Fitterer added that Newton quickly became a “leader” in Carolina last season.

“He does have that presence, but he’s a team-first guy,” Fitterer said. “He’s a competitor, but he’s a team-first guy so we have no problem bringing him in.”

Newton spent a season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2020. He finished with 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games. He was then cut by the Patriots before last season. Carolina signed him midway through last season, and Newton wound up being benched multiple times.

We know of one other quarterback that the Panthers have their eye on. It seems unlikely that they would bring Newton back given how he played last season. If they do, the 33-year-old would have to be open to a backup role.

Cam Newton addresses backlash from his recent comments

Cam Newton throws in warmups

Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton made some remarks earlier this month that were perceived by many to be sexist, and the former NFL MVP has finally responded to the criticism.

Newton was a guest on a recent episode of Barstool Sports’ “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast. While discussing his childhood, Newton praised his parents and said they did a great job of showing him what a strong relationship looks like. The free agent quarterback then criticized women who carry the “bad b–ch” mentality.

“Now a women for me is, handling your own but knowing how to cater to a man’s needs. Right?” Newton said. “And I think a lot of times when you get that aesthetic of, ‘I’m a boss b–ch, I’m a this, I’m a that.’ No, baby, but you can’t cook. You don’t know when to be quiet. You don’t know how to allow a man to lead.”

During his latest “Funky Friday” segment on YouTube, Newton said the comments were taken “completely out of context.” He expressed regret over not going more in-depth with the topic.

“Not only am I bringing awareness to what the ‘bad (expletive)’ is. I’m also bringing awareness to what a ‘(expletive) boy’ is — what a man should be to their kids, to their families,” Newton said, as transcribed by Chris Mason of MLive.com. “I’ll be the first person to tell you: Did I make a mistake by not going into depth on a certain topic? Yes. I should have said on top of what I also said and mentioned, that not only should a woman know when to be quiet, a man also should know when to be quiet.

“The whole premise of my tone and how I was talking was this: You can’t expect so much from a person and give so little. No matter if you’re the breadwinner in your family dynamic as a man or you’re the breadwinner in your family dynamic as a woman. You’ve gotta uphold your end of the bargain.”

Part of the problem for Newton is that he has not earned the benefit of the doubt. When the free-agent quarterback was with the Carolina Panthers in 2017, he made a sexist remark to a female reporter who asked him a very standard question. You can see that video here.

Newton signed with the Panthers midway through last year and played poorly. The odds are stacked against him this offseason given his injury history and recent performance. The latest controversy probably did not help.

Cam Newton again accused of making sexist comments

Cam Newton throws in warmups

Cam Newton is once again under fire for some remarks he made that were perceived to be sexist.

Newton was a guest on the latest episode of Barstool Sports’ “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast. While discussing his childhood, Newton praised his parents and said they did a great job of showing him what a strong relationship looks like. The free agent quarterback then criticized women who carry the “bad b–ch” mentality. Newton was asked to elaborate on that.

“There’s a lot of women who are bad b—es. And I say b—es in a way, not to degrade a woman but just to go off the aesthetic of what they deem is a boss chick,” Newton said.

“Now a women for me is, handling your own but knowing how to cater to a man’s needs. Right? And I think a lot of times when you get that ascetic of, ‘I’m a boss b–ch, Imma this, Imma that.’ No, baby, but you can’t cook. You don’t know when to be quiet! You don’t know how to allow a man to lead.”

You can hear the discussion below:

Newton might argue that he was describing the type of women he is attracted to rather than how all women should be. If that was his intention, he did a poor job of articulating it. He also has not earned the benefit of the doubt.

When Newton was with the Panthers in 2017, he made a cringeworthy remark to a female reporter who asked him a very standard question. You can see that video here.

Critics will say Newton’s latest comments are further evidence of his sexist mentality.

Newton signed with the Panthers midway through last season and played poorly. He was already going to have a difficult time finding a job with an NFL team this offseason. The latest controversy will not help.

Photo: Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton offers update on his free agency

Cam Newton throws in warmups

It has been several years since Cam Newton looked like he was capable of winning games as a starting quarterback in the NFL, but the former MVP claims there are still teams that want him.

Newton told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday that teams are interested in signing him but he is being patient. He said he wants to play for a contending team and get a fair shot at playing time.

Newton is really in no position to make those demands. No team is going to sign him with the intention of having him start. The Carolina Panthers tried that midway through last season, and Newton wound up being benched multiple times.

Newton spent a season as the New England Patriots’ starting quarterback in 2020. He finished with 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 15 games. The 32-year-old was then cut by the Patriots before last season. He looked like the same player in his opportunities with Carolina.

If Newton is open to being a backup, he might be able to find a job this offseason. Otherwise, we highly doubt there will be much interest in him.

Photo: Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton benched in back-to-back games

Cam Newton throws before a game

Cam Newton has been benched once again.

Newton was replaced by Carolina Panthers backup P.J. Walker during the first half of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule made the switch after Newton threw a brutal pick-six, which you can see below:

Newton was 6/11 for 88 yards and the interception at the time he came out. He also had 33 rushing yards and a score. The benching was not permanent, as he came back in during the second half. Unfortunately, things did not go much better for him.

The Panthers seemed very optimistic about Newton after they signed him, but ultimately he has looked like the same player that was cut by the New England Patriots before the season. Newton can still make a few plays with his legs here and there, but he simply can’t throw the ball downfield consistently anymore.

Sunday’s game was only Newton’s third start since he rejoined the Panthers. He was also benched last week, when he completed just 5 of 21 passes for 92 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions in a loss to the Miami Dolphins. Carolina’s long-term plan for Newton has probably changed.

Photo: Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton has blunt take on Panthers’ firing of Joe Brady

Cam Newton throws before a game

The Carolina Panthers’ offense has been a mess for much of the year, and it led to the firing of offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Quarterback Cam Newton hasn’t been with the organization for long, but that doesn’t mean he does not hold himself responsible.

Newton admitted Thursday that he felt he had “something to do” with Brady’s firing. The quarterback added that he was worried about his own job at this point in light of the team’s struggles.

“Do I think I had something to do with it? The competitor in me, absolutely, yes. Because the truth of the matter is you don’t lose your job because of success,” Newton said, via David Newton of ESPN. “Where I’m at now is doing what I can control to make sure that I have a job, too. Let’s just be honest.”

Newton holding himself accountable like this isn’t a bad thing. That said, Carolina’s problems long predated his arrival. In the three weeks that preceded his Week 10 debut, the Panthers had scored a combined total of 28 points.

Yes, Newton put a lot of responsibility on himself in his return to Carolina. From that standpoint, the team’s failure to improve under him does reflect on him to some degree. The offense has a lot of structural problems, though, and Newton was never going to be able to fix those quickly.

Photo: Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers have long-term plan for Cam Newton?

Cam Newton throws before a game

Cam Newton officially reclaimed his job as starting quarterback of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, and he apparently has an opportunity to keep it for quite some time.

The Panthers signed Newton last week with the intention of having him start. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Newton could enter the 2022 in the same role with the team is all goes well.

“It all depends on how Cam plays. I know the Panthers look at it and don’t think there are a lot of great options out there with the college prospects,” Glazer said prior to Sunday’s NFL action. “If they can’t land one of the big fish (via trade or signing) in the offseason, they would hope that a guy like Cam Newton can step up and be their future.”

Obviously, the Panthers do not envision bringing Sam Darnold back next season. They can say they signed Newton because of Darnold’s shoulder injury, but Darnold was likely headed to the bench regardless.

Newton played well in a tough 27-21 loss to Washington on Sunday. He made plays with his arm and legs, passing for 189 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 46 and another score. The former MVP even ramped up his TD celebration game.

It’s far too early to say if Newton can come close to regaining his old form. There’s a reason only one team offered him a chance to start last year and it took an injury to get another opportunity this year. But if he’s healthy and continues to play well, the Panthers clearly have interest in making him the face of the franchise again.

Photo: Aug 22, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) warms up prior to the start of a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Cam Newton taunted by Washington player after loss

Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown

Cam Newton’s first home game back with the Carolina Panthers did not go to plan, much to the delight of the Washington Football Team.

Washington came away with a 27-21 road win at Carolina on Sunday, and they limited Newton in the process. The Panthers quarterback did throw for a pair of touchdowns and run for another, but was limited to 235 total yards on the day.

That was a big win for the Washington defense. They knew it, too, as ESPN’s Kimberley A. Martin overheard one player gloating a bit heading into the locker room.

Yes, that is mocking Newton’s proclamation after scoring a touchdown last week. That might just get back to the Panthers quarterback.

The fact is that Newton just isn’t what he used to be. He’s not as explosive as he once was. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a successful NFL quarterback, and there’s still plenty of fun nostalgia about his return to Carolina. The glory days of 2015 aren’t coming back with him, though.