Cam Newton says he will use the fact that teams passed on the chance to sign him as motivation when he starts life as a New England Patriot.
The former NFL MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers in March after they failed to find a team willing to trade for him. The 31-year-old, who has dealt with injury issues, then had to wait four months before the Patriots picked him up for a base salary of $1.05m, a much lower amount that many quarterbacks with lesser pedigrees.
“You’re getting a dog,” said Newton on Monday, during a YouTube discussion with fellow NFL stars Odell Beckham Jr and Todd Gurley. “You’re getting one of these ticked-off dogs too. And I’m looking at the schedule and I’m like, ‘Who we’re playing? That team passed on me! OK, that team passed on me. They could’ve came and got me.’”.
Newton will compete for the starting quarterback job with second-year player Jarrett Stidham. Newton spoke about filing in for the man he is likely to replace at New England, six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.
“You know who [you’re] coming after? I’m like, yeah, great,” Newton said of Brady, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year after 20 years with the Patriots. “What he was, what he is, is great, needs no even talking about it.”
Newton, who holds the record for most career rushing touchdowns by an NFL quarterback, said he can offer something different to the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels. “But one thing about it, though: Coach McDaniels, you’re able to call some stuff that you ain’t ever been able to call now,” he said.
During the discussion, Beckham said he briefly considered retiring after injuring his ankle in 2017, and said he had experienced mental health issues when he played for the New York Giants. “I struggled to deal with that,” said Beckham, who now plays for the Cleveland Browns. “Depression, mental health issues, being in New York, not really liking it.”