Sometimes, the road from anger to denial to bargaining to depression to acceptance is a long one.
Former NFL quarterback Cam Newton, in a recent appearance on Josina Anderson’s Undefined podcast, suggested that his ongoing NFL employment could be related to the length of his hair.
“It’s been hinted,” Newton said. “And I’m not changing. People have hinted to where they say like, ‘Cam, we want you to go back to the 2015 clean-cut Cam.’ But, that was a different me.” The thing that is always mentioned is, ‘Cam, you’re scaring people with how you look.'”
After saying he wasn’t going to name names, Newton pointed out that Trevor Lawrence also has long hair.
Newton’s hair length has nothing to do with his current status. No one cares about hair length. They care about winning. They care about crafting a roster conducive to winning.
Newton’s prospects are far more hampered by his ongoing insistence that he should be a starter, a stance he softened not long ago with a specific list of quarterbacks for whom he’d be willing to serve as a backup.
Cam also said that he has heard from some teams, and that he was told they’d evaluate the situation after the draft. He said the teams from which he heard were in the AFC.
He’s still good enough to be on a roster. But he refuses to fully embrace what it means to be a backup, especially when he has a big, outsized personality that would undermine many starting quarterbacks.
He’s not the first former starter to struggle to come to terms with the fact that he’s no longer good enough to be a QB1. He’s also not the first one to grasp at straws to explain his current predicament.
And so the wait continues. He said there’s no deadline regarding how long he’ll wait.
“I don’t think I’ll ever retire,” Newton said.
For now, though, there’s nothing to retire from.