Cam Newton avoids retirement talk, wants to return to the Patriots: ‘There are no 32 guys better than me’

After one New England Patriots debut season that saw Cam Newton throw more interceptions than touchdowns, the former NFL MVP says he has heard retirees.

He does not have it.

In an appearance on the podcast “I am an athlete” With former NFL players Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Fred Taylor, Newton made it clear he intends to continue playing. And he thinks he’s still a starting caliber defender in the NFL.

‘I can not go out like that’

“Hell no,” Newton said of retirement. “I can not go out like this. I hear all this conversation. My pride does not allow me to do it. There are no 32 guys better than me.”

Coming from two injured seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Newton, 31, looked a bit like the electric quarterback who accompanied his Superman persona during his MVP prime.

He started strong when the Patriots won two of their first three games with Newton under center. He combined for six touchdowns against two turnovers in a 2-1 start, giving hope in New England that the Patriots could find success after Tom Brady.

COVID-19 runs Newton’s season

But Newton got COVID-19 and did not fit for a week 4 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. When he returned in Week 5 against the Denver Broncos, the Patriot offense went stagnant, and New England began a losing streak in three games. By the end of the season, the Patriots had missed the playoffs at 7-9, and Newton had scored eight passing touchdowns against 10 interceptions.

The one-season experiment in New England was far from a success.

New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, November 29, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts (AP Photo / Elise Amendola)

Did COVID-19 play a role in Newton’s performance?

Newton said he did not suffer any major symptoms of COVID-19 outside of the odor loss. But when he returned to the New England lineup, he felt that the lost time proved to be a steep setback for a quarterback in a new system. Especially comes from a pre-season hampered by the pandemic.

“When I came back, I did not feel comfortable, physically fit,” Newton said. “A lot of that discomfort came quickly. …

“I’m lost. I think too much … The crime continued and I was stopped and stationary for two weeks. When I came back it was new terminology … I was not I was just trying to learn a system for what it was, I learned a – let’s be honest – a 20-year system in two months. “

Camera about signing with the Patriots: “Hell yes”

So does Newton – a pending free agent – want a new shot in New England even if it comes with another year’s deal?

“Yes. Hell yes,” said Newton. “I’m getting tired of changing. I’m at the point in my career where I know a lot more than I did last year.”

Whether the Patriots want Newton back is a completely different matter. After the bitter taste of third place in the AFC East, they may be ready to browse. There is currently no obvious answer to the quarterback in New England.

If New England – or any other potential Newtonian suitor – is looking for a bright side from his 2020 campaign, it is that he was still effective as a runner, amassing 592 yards and 12 touchdowns on the field at 4.3 yards per carry.

Cam talks about former college teammate Aaron Hernandez

Newton did not stick strictly to football during the free-flowing discussion. The topic of Aaron Hernandez also came up. Newton played in college in Florida with former NFL players like died in prison of suicide while serving a life sentence for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

He said Hernandez he knew was another man.

“I saw the younger one,” Newton said. “How he is portrayed as a villain, it is not he. Do not misunderstand me, in all respects of what happened, there were bodies that were injured, and I do not deny what was done was bad. But I knew that beautiful soul. He was fun loving and he just wanted to get to the league. “

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