Cam Newton addressed his release from the Patriots on YouTube Live Friday.
Newton admitted that he was surprised at their decision to release him and implied he would have been open to being Mac Jones’ backup.
Newton believes he would have been a distraction for Jones had he served as his backup due to his “aura.”
“The reason they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction without being the starter,” Newton said, via Pro Football Talk. “Just my aura. . . . 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.”
The Patriots had Newton taking fewer reps than Jones and he thinks the team did a good job of disguising their intentions.
“That time with me finding out [about the release] and kind of seeing things different, when I look back at it, I was probably getting two reps to his 10 reps. And that’s why it was starting to make sense,” Newton said, via ESPN.com. “Even though I was starting, that doesn’t necessarily mean nothing.
“I think that’s where they did a good job with kind of disguising it: ‘Cam took first-team reps today.’ But [media members] didn’t know the practice structure. The first-team goes down, the second team goes back, and then the first team comes back too. And that’s when [Jones] was getting his first-team reps.”
Regarding his five-day absence for violation of the league’s COVID-19 protocols, Newton explained that he would “absolutely not” have gone to Atlanta to see a doctor about his foot had he known what the outcome would be.
“I crossed all the lines, I checked all the boxes, I dotted all my i’s. Then to find out I had to sit out, that’s when I kinda felt bamboozled, because y’all told me to go,” Newton said.
Newton admitted that he likely would have been released had he been with the team during this time or now, but it certainly pushed things in favor of Jones getting the job.
“During that time, I started seeing signs of change. … 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.
Some other notes from Cam:
- Newton made it clear that he doesn’t believe Jones beat him out for the job: “Mac Jones didn’t beat me out, but I would’ve been a distraction.” (Ben Volin)
- Newton said he believes Jones will be successful in the NFL: “He did do what he came to do. He proved that he can be productive, and he WILL be productive.” (Ben Volin)