Weis on Mac Jones: 'He’s going to play a lot better than most people think'
Earlier in the week, Cam Newton promised to share his thoughts about his release from the New England Patriots and his future in the NFL.
He certainly kept his promise
In an interview with his father as part of his ‘Funky Friday’ segments, the 2015 NFL MVP spoke about a wide range of topics, including why he believes the Patriots cut ties last month.
“The reason why they released me is because indirectly I was going to be a distraction,” Newton said.
“Just my aura. Just my aura. And that’s just, and I told you this off camera, that’s my gift and my curse. When you bring a Cam Newton to your facility, when you bring a Cam Newton to your franchise, people are interested.”
Newton added that he would have been fine backing up starter Mac Jones, but it was the rookie who would have been uncomfortable.
“Let me be honest with you. If they would have asked me, would I play behind, [if] they said ‘Cam, we’re going to give the team to Mac, you’re going to be a second stringer. 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,” Newton said.
Newton was away from training camp in August after missing one of the Patriots’ mandatory COVID-19 tests because of a conflict with a medical appointment. Since Newton was technically in violation of the league’s COVID protocols, he had to undergo a five-day re-entry period.
“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,” Newton said, adding that he was “bamboozled” when he learned he needed to miss five days as per NFL policy.
The 32-year-old started all 15 games he played in for the Pats last season but largely struggled, finishing with eight passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Newton was aware his performance was uncharacteristic and indicated that the Patriots’ complicated system didn’t help matters.
“I am who I am. I didn’t play good last year… I was inaccurate, I didn’t know the playbook, they had to dumb it down,” he said.
“I’ve never been in a system that required me to know the MIKE. Half of the NFL, I’d say 30 of 32 teams, don’t run this philosophy.
Prior to his one season in New England, Newton spent nine years at the helm of the Carolina Panthers, being named to the Pro Bowl three times and helping the Panthers reach the Super Bowl in 2016.
The No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Auburn, Newton played in just two games during the 2019 season because of a shoulder injury.