Cam Newton has picked up a lot of things since becoming the Panthers quarterback.
But something he let go last week — a long-held grudge – shows the growth he’s been experiencing along the way.
On its own, the fact that Cam Newton talked to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King last week isn’t necessarily big news, outside the small realm of sports media.
But King details the breaking of the ice with Newton at the MMQB.com, after three-plus years of being frozen out.
Newton was salty with King for putting out the “icon and entertainer” line just before the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, which created the context for nearly every interview that followed for months. So Newton didn’t talk to King for the next few years, at the urging of some close to him.
But Newton approached King last week in Spartanburg and said: “Can I see you for a couple of minutes before you leave today?”
“I don’t want to walk the other way every time I see you,” Newton said when they met. “That’s not what a man does.”
So the two talked, each giving their own sides, and moving forward.
King’s one of the most respected writers in the country, and one of the biggest names. But Newton has made a name for himself on his own since the Panthers made him the first pick in the draft, and realistically could have continued with the grudge and continued making plays for the Panthers and a name for himself off the field too.
That Newton’s talking to King again isn’t necessarily a big deal for the Panthers. But that Newton took the initiative and stepped out from a carefully constructed layer of insulation to make his own choice says plenty about his maturity.