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Quarterback Cam Newton shared his feelings about his last few NFL seasons on Tuesday, and he acknowledged that things didn't go very well for him with the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.
In an hourlong interview with "The Pivot" podcast, Newton discussed his season with the Patriots in 2020 and his partial season with the Panthers in 2021, saying they were both "f***ed up" situations.
Cam was still learning Pats offense in Week 7
Newton spent some time talking about how his "blessing" of quarterbacking talent is also his "curse." He said that he's his own worst enemy, and that's caused him to get into some "f***ed up situations" during his career.
The first one he mentioned was his year as the Patriots starting QB in 2020.
"The New England experience was a f***ed up situation," Newton said. "I was still learning the offense 7-8 weeks into the season."
Newton explained that the endless meetings with various coaches trying to "teach" him things gave him "brain overload."
"There were times I was going to the line and I was still thinking. I'm thinking about the enunciation of the play, I'm thinking about forgetting my emotions, I'm thinking about my sight adjust," Newton said.
Newton explained that he knew things weren't right at the time, but he didn't know it "to the degree I needed to know it in order to show the world that I'm still Cam Newton."
Despite what happened with Panthers, Cam still wants to play
Then Newton got into his partial season with the Panthers in 2021, when he returned to the team that drafted him to replace the injured Sam Darnold. He played in eight games, starting five, and the Panthers lost all but one of the games he appeared in.
"In Carolina, I put myself into another f***ed up situation," Newton said. "I signed on Thursday and was playing on Sunday... The next week I started, that's still up under 10 days of you being being on the team and I was still trying to learn an offense. This is not a receiver. This is not a safety. This is not a left tackle. This is a quarterback."
Newton discussing his time with the Patriots and Panthers was to make a point: despite what he showed, he still thinks he has what it takes to play.
"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 and saying that Cam put himself in a f***ed up situation," Newton said.
This whole conversation began with the hosts pointing out that players less talented than Newton are getting workouts while he is not, and they wondered whether Newton's off-the-field persona — which Newton described as his hats, hair, clothes, aura, and other things that could make people think he's more interested in himself than football — is affecting how people in the NFL view him talent-wise. Newton quickly answered that with a rousing yes.
"There's not 32 guys that are better than me," Newton said. "If you think I couldn't be on somebody's team right now, you're a damn fool."
The hosts didn't quite agree with that assertion, but Newton took it in stride — as he always does — saying that it's a challenge he's accepted.