Quarterback Cam Newton has shared how motivated he is to prove doubters wrong through social media posts, but one topic he hadn’t addressed prior to this week was the unique position he’s in of possibly replacing six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady with the New England Patriots.
Newton referred to it as “the elephant in the room.”
“You know who [you’re] coming after? I’m like, yeah, great. What he was, what he is, is great, needs no even talking about it,” Newton said. “But one thing about it, though: Coach [Josh] McDaniels, you’re able to call some stuff that you ain’t ever been able to call now.
“You’re getting a dog. You’re getting one of these ticked-off dogs too. And I’m looking at the schedule and I’m like, ‘Who we’re playing? That team passed on me! OK, that team passed on me. They could’ve came and got me.'”
Newton, who has not held an introductory news conference since the Patriots officially announced his signing on July 8, made the remarks as part of a roundtable discussion on YouTube with receiver Odell Beckham Jr., running back Todd Gurley and former NFL receiver Victor Cruz.
The discussion covered a variety of topics, including playing through the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, among other things. The players casually sat around a table in Los Angeles, with Newton puffing on a cigar at times.
Newton shared the story of his agent calling him during a workout to tell him the Patriots had interest in signing him. His first reaction: “I said, ‘Hold on, how’s me and Belichick going to mesh?’ Because it’s like perception.”
Beckham shared his appreciation for Newton playing through injuries throughout his career, adding that he didn’t believe in that perception with Belichick.
“Watching you, and now to feel that vindication and to be going to Belichick, there is no ‘How is it going to work?’ For me, all he wants to do is put you in a place to succeed. I’m happy to see it,” he told Newton.
Newton joins 2019 fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham and 11-year veteran Brian Hoyer atop the Patriots’ quarterback depth chart. Belichick has not named a starter yet.
Newton’s modest one-year contract includes a base salary of $1.05 million, with only $550,000 guaranteed. He can earn up to $7.5 million through per-game roster bonuses and incentives.