Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton says he’s still able to help a team as a starting quarterback, despite putting himself in difficult positions in 2021 in Carolina and 2020 in New England.
Newton cut to the chase when asked about his time in Charlotte in 2021.
“I signed on Thursday. I played on Sunday,’’ the 2015 NFL MVP said on “The Pivot Podcast’’ hosted by ESPN’s Ryan Clark and former NFL players Channing Crowder and Fred Taylor. “At what point did you think you was going to be successful? The next week, I started. That’s still under 10 days of you being on the team. And you’re still trying to learn the 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 and saying Cam put himself in a f---ed-up situation, which then had a ricochet effect to people thinking [how they think of me].’’
Newton, 33, spent the final eight games with the Panthers last season after being signed in November. That was after starter Sam Darnold was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
Four days later, in a backup role, Newton scored on his first two plays — a 2-yard run and a 2-yard pass — to help the Panthers to an upset win at Arizona.
He started the next five games, going 0-5 with three touchdown passes and five interceptions. He also had four rushing touchdowns.
The Panthers did not re-sign him after the season, but kept the door open for a possible return to compete with Darnold, third-round pick Matt Corral and former XFL star P.J. Walker.
Cam also dished on his 2020 season with the Patriots, saying “The New England experience was a f–ked up situation,” Newton said. “I was still learning the offense seven to eight weeks into the season.”
And what about Cam in 2022? The former NCAA national champion at Auburn says “there’s not 32 guys better than me... If you think I couldn’t be on somebody’s team right now, you’re a damn fool.”
Part of the deal for podcasts like The Pivot, I Am Athlete and FULL SEND is that it’s mostly softball practice for guests, by design. By that I mean the hosts aren’t there to challenge the interviewee lest it make things weird. They’re there to lob positive alley-oop questions so the guest feels comfortable. We all pretty much understand the deal and rarely will there be a tough question of substance. Still, guys like Cam tend to open up on their own.
Crowder told Cam that he’s one of the 32 best NFL quarterbacks in the league, and Cam gave some interesting soundbites.
Newton appeared to take exception to people criticizing his winless record in 2021, saying “the supporting cast is needed. If you’re asking you to run this show without your supporting cast upholding their end of the bargain, then you’ll always be left alone. And I’m not about to sit up here and speak on what I didn’t have, I just accepted the challenge.”
Although Cam didn’t outright say he was talking about his time in the Panthers, he commented “It’s also me getting into this situation and saying, bruh, I should have never even put myself into that situation thinking I was enough to bring this situation back.”
Cam’s never been one to shy away from giving his opinion and I hope he gets another shot. If he doesn’t, I don’t think he has anything to dwell on. Newton has had a nice run in the NFL and played some of the most exciting football in his day. However, it might be coming to an end sooner than he wants.