Cam Newton blames himself for failures with Patriots, second Panthers tenure

Cam Newton accepts some blame for lackluster season with Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Circumstances surrounding Cam Newton’s ill-fated one-year stint with the New England Patriots were far from ideal.

Newton joined the Patriots during the summer of 2020, a year in which any semblance of a normal offseason training program was ravaged by the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Between that, a shoulder injury and limited him to only two games with the Carolina Panthers in 2019 and the fact that he was replacing Tom Brady, the odds were never truly in Newton’s favor for much success in Foxboro.

Nevertheless, Newton seems to have shouldered the blame for his lackluster season with the Patriots. Appearing on ESPN’s “The Pivot Podcast,” Newton deemed his experience in New England a “f — ed up situation” in which he was still learning the offense roughly two months into the season.

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“It was just brain overload, ” Newton said on the podcast, which features several NFL alums, including former Patriot Fred Taylor.” It was times I was going to the line and I’m still thinking. Did I know it? Yes. To the degree that I needed to know it to show the world that I’m still Cam Newton? No. “

Newton was released at the end of training camp in 2021 as the Patriots opted to go with their first-round draft pick from the spring, Mac Jones.

“[He’s] going to be a great quarterback, “Newton said of Jones.

In his only season with the Patriots, Newton finished 7-8 as a starter as New England missed the postseason for the first time since 2008. He completed 65.8 percent of his passes, throwing for only eight touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Newton also rushed for 12 scores.

“But I put myself in that situation, ” Newton said.

Newton also said on the podcast that when the Panthers cut him following the 2019 season, he was prepared to step away from football.

He’d wind up returning to Carolina, where he was originally drafted first overall in 2011 and won MVP in 2015, for an ultimately forgettable second stint in 2021. After rushing and throwing for a touchdown on his first two snaps back off the bench, Newton would go 0-5 as a starter for the Panthers.

Currently a free agent, Newton doesn’t sound like he’s ready to officially call it a career just yet.

“If you think I couldn’t be on somebody’s team right now, you’re a damn fool,” he said.

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