For the first time since his release, Cam Newton is publicly addressing why he believes he was cut from the New England Patriots, reports ESPN. Newton said that he would have been a “distraction” to the team.
Speaking with his father Cecil on his YouTube Channel, Cam was shocked to discover that he lost his starting position.
“Did it catch me by surprise being released? Absolutely,” Newton said in the 43-minute video released Friday morning.
Newton said he felt “bamboozled” when he traveled to Atlanta, with the Patriot’s permission, for a second opinion on a previous injury that eventually sent him into the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. Because of the “misunderstanding,” he missed five days of practices and meetings.
He went on to say that he didn’t believe his time away from the Patriots was the primary reason he was released but he noticed a change when he returned to the team. He admitted that his absence accelerated his release from the squad.
“During that time, I started seeing signs of change,” he recalled. “Do I think this would have happened without me being away from the team for five days? Honestly, yes. It was going to happen. Did it help ease the decision? Yes.”
As a former NFL MVP, Newton said that his presence would have hindered the development of rookie QB Mac Jones.
“Mac Jones didn’t beat me out,” he said. “But I would have been a distraction knowing if they would have given him the starting role. They knew the perception that would have had if the success didn’t come.”
He also believes if he was the week one starter with New England’s revamped roster, his early success would have caused problems for Jones, who was chosen 15th in the 2021 NFL Draft.
“With that roster, you can win right now,” he argued. “If you go 4-1 or 5-0, you’re locked in … the reason why they released me is because indirectly I was going to be a distraction, without being the starter.”
When he asked why he thought he would be a distraction, Newton explained that it was because of his track record of success on the field and his personality.
“Just my aura,” he claimed. “That’s my gift and my curse. When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility, you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise. People are interested by the mere fact, ‘Who is he?’”
Although he’s enjoying picking his kids up from school and cooking them dinner during his downtime, he still believes that he has a lot more football to play.
“There’s not 32 guys out there better than me,” he said. “Let’s be honest.”