Cam Newton reveals reason he believes Patriots cut him
Many people were surprised that the New England Patriots released Cam Newton rather than keeping him as their No. 2 quarterback behind Mac Jones, but the former NFL MVP thinks the team would have viewed him as a distraction if he stayed.
Newton discussed his final days with the Patriots during his highly anticipated “Freaky Friday” video. During the sit-down with his father Cecil, Newton said the Patriots felt he would have been a “distraction” as a backup QB.
“The reason they released me is because, indirectly, I was gonna be a distraction,” Newton said.
The 32-year-old also hinted that he did not feel he was given a fair shot to earn the starting job. Newton believes the Patriots knew they would have been able to win with him, which would have made it tougher for them to turn things over to Jones at some point. For what it’s worth, he thinks they will win with the rookie, too.
"With that roster, you can win right now. If you go 4-1 or 5-0, you can't – you're locked in."
Basically, he thinks if he had stayed and won, it would have made it impossible for the Patriots to turn to Mac Jones at all this year. Hence his release. It was Mac now or never.
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) September 10, 2021
Newton emphatically denied the claim that Jones was teaching him the playbook this offseason. He said he, Jones, Brian Hoyer and Josh McDaniels were always consulting one another about the offense, which is normal for any team. He also said that he believes the Patriots would have released him regardless of his COVID vaccine status, though he admitted missing several days of practice didn’t help his cause.
Had the Patriots wanted to keep Newton as a backup, he says he would have told them “absolutely.” You can hear more of his comments below:
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 10, 2021
Newton’s rationale about why he lost the starting job doesn’t make much since. If Bill Belichick believed Newton gave the Patriots a better chance to win, he would have gladly had Jones spend time holding a clipboard. There’s no reason to believe the Patriots made a concerted effort to rush a rookie quarterback into action. Just ask Peyton Manning how difficult it is to play the position in the NFL as a rookie. Jones was simply better than Newton during training camp and in the preseason.
As for his playing future, Newton said his career is not over. He is, however, looking forward to spending time with his family. Newton believes he is still good enough to start in the NFL, but there is one big reason he may not play this year.