Quarterback Cam Newton was a free agent for quite a while last year after being released by the Panthers and there didn’t appear to be anyone other than the Patriots knocking on his door when he finally signed in July.
Newton’s season got off to a decent start, but he missed time after testing positive for COVID-19 and didn’t play well for much of the rest of a 7-9 season that left the Patriots outside of the playoffs. The Patriots were not long on receiving talent once Julian Edelman was injured, which led former NFL wideout Brandon Marshall to ask on a podcast why Newton signed with the team.
Newton referenced that extended period as an unsigned free agent and shared his feeling that there were a lot of teams, including the Panthers, who were intimidated by him.
“What other options did I have? I intimidate a lot of people,” Newton said. “Honestly, I intimidated the franchise that I was at. . . . Where that franchise was going, I was not in the plans. So by the time I got released, the only place that made sense for me, for my career was New England. There was a lot of behind the scenes talk that I wasn’t privy to about the plans moving forward. I wasn’t in the plans. But that’s the business and I learned that. I respect Matt Rhule and David Tepper for putting me through that experience.”
Newton said he’d re-sign with the Patriots if given the opportunity and feels things would be much better because he now knows some of the offense, but didn’t say if there have been any talks about a second season. Newton did share that he feels he’s one of the top 32 quarterbacks in the league and it will take finding someone else who feels that way for him to remain a starter in 2021.