Cam Newton received a pink slip from the Panthers on March 24. He remained on the free agent market three months before agreeing to terms on a one-year deal with the Patriots.
The Patriots have a 6-8 record in his 14 starts this season, and he has 12 rushing touchdowns and only five passing touchdowns. He will become the first primary starter since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to finish a season with more rushing touchdowns than passing touchdowns.
But Newton learned something about himself in a trying season that included missing a game with COVID-19.
“I’m a mentally tough SOB, bruh,” Newton said Thursday, via Ryan Hannable of WEEI.
Newton, who will make just under $4 million this season, could start his final game for the Patriots on Sunday.
He is scheduled to become a free agent in March. It is unknown whether the Patriots want him back or whether he wants to return.
“The injuries, yeah, that was tough to kind of get over. The late free agency, yup, that was tough. COVID, you mentioned. And even the success, those are all ones that you kind of look back and kind of, ‘Yeah, it could have been better,'” Newton said. The one for me is my kids. It’s my children. It’s like any father, any mother who’s on this call right now to go without talking to your kids or your family. That was — that’s everything, you know what I’m saying? Because like, I’ll put it like this: And I’m being honest, right? I had two birthdays that I didn’t see. My son Chosen’s birthday was on Christmas Eve. I didn’t get to see it with him. My son Cashmere’s birthday was on Sept. 30, and I didn’t get to see that, too. Cashmere just turned 1, so that was kind of a big deal for him. Chosen just turned 5. So — and even more or less, not seeing my kids’ first steps.
“Like, all of those things. Being unemployed for 86 nights, yeah, that’s tough. Having injuries, yeah, that’s tough. Going through this season and you can kind of assume what a juggernaut media market that Boston is or Foxboro, New England, whatever you want to call it, is. The slander that comes with living up to the TB12 expectations. Yeah, all of that is tough. You hear it. None of it is even a close second to not being able to see your children. Just that. You miss your kids’ first steps. You’re not there during Christmas. You’re not there on birthdays.
“And then on top of that, you’re sucking? Ah, man. And coming from a person that’s already emotional? And I don’t even want to talk to people on a regular day let alone when everything is going good. But I’ve learned that through it all, you only got your faith in God, your faith in yourself. And that’s pretty much it. I’ve really relied on understanding of trying to find something to build off of. It didn’t matter if it was a, ‘Well, it was an incomplete.’ And you may think of it as — I don’t care what you think of it — for me, I’m being optimistic through it all, and I’ve learned to be optimistic especially through these trials and tribulations because at times during this year, it was like, ‘God. What is it? What are you doing? What are you trying to tell me? Like, what am I not doing?’ And yeah, having to wake up at certain amount of times and leaving the facilities at certain amount of times and still not having the success that you want to have, it teaches you resiliency. It teaches you patience. It teaches you to have faith and understanding that, listen, sooner or later, you’re going to get a break. I’m not looking for no handouts.
“It’s just more or less for me to just say, ‘Bruh, damn. Finally.’ Right? And 2020, man I’m about to sign, seal. I’m about to tie this year up, put a big knot on it. I can buy every single lock, key and throw away all of them. I don’t want to see no part of 2020, but it made me a better person. That, I do believe. And that’s something, being a part of this franchise is something that you just don’t wash away that stench, that aura of being a Patriot. It’s something that’s in you. Being around arguably the greatest coach of all time and looking at him from afar, because I obviously, my living method may not be as his living methods. He wears jeans and a bubble coat or Patriots gear every single day. And meanwhile I’m Polo down, Moncler down, you know what I’m saying? Meshika hat, shades. That’s just my steez. I’m like, this cold, I ain’t ever been able to wear this jacket. Boom. Wearing it. And it still teaches you different methods of being producing and having production in this league. And I’ll never forget that.”
In 2020, Cam Newton learned he’s “a mentally tough SOB” originally appeared on Pro Football Talk