In his first public comments since being released from the New England Patriots last month, Cam Newton took to his YouTube channel on Friday to explain what exactly went down.
In the latest edition of his Funky Friday web series, the three-time Pro Bowler sat down with his father to discuss his final days with the team and expressed his belief that he would’ve been released regardless of whether he had missed practices due to a “misunderstanding” of COVID-19 protocols or not. He also admitted that getting cut by the team was as big of a shock to him as it was to the rest of us.
“Did it catch me by surprise being released?” Newton says. “Absolutely.”
While he doesn’t point to the time he missed in training camp as the primary reason for his release, he does note that he felt a shift in how things were playing out.
“During that time, I started seeing signs of change,” he says. “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.”
He also claims that rookie quarterback Mac Jones never beat him out for the Patriots starting gig—I’m sure Bill Belichick would beg to differ—and that he would’ve been more than willing to serve as a backup to the Alabama standout. The problem was that it might’ve created a less than favorable locker room dynamic.
“Let me be honest with you,” he says. “If they would have asked me, ‘Cam, we’re going to give the team to Mac, you’re going to be second-string. We expect you to be everything and some to guide him throughout this tenure,’ I would have said, ‘Absolutely’. But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable.”
He then added, “The reason why they released me is because indirectly I was going to be a distraction, without being the starter. Just my aura. That’s my gift and my curse.”
I’m always here for players ditching the politically correct answers on situations like these, and you can watch the entire 43-minute interview below. True to his web series’ name, Cam definitely keeps it funky.