Newton on 10th NFL season: 'It's not about money, it's about respect'
Abbie Parr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Cam Newton is off to a hot start as the New England Patriots quarterback, and the fact he's playing under a modest deal signed late in the offseason doesn't bother him.

"Surprisingly but true, and factual enough, if I do what I'm supposed to do, as I'm expected to, that will not be a topic of discussion moving forward," Newton said on "The Greg Hill Show," according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.

"Money at this particular point in my career is not important. Let's be honest: I've made money, but for everything that I play this game for, I haven't received yet. And that's why I'm playing. So it's not about money, it's about respect."

Newton inked a one-year, incentive-laden contract worth up to $7.5 million last July. His contract includes a $1.05-million base salary with just $550,000 guaranteed.

The 31-year-old leads all quarterbacks in carries (26) and touchdowns (four) on the ground this season while completing a career-high 71.4% of his pass attempts. New England has posted a 1-1 record.

"A wise man once said - and that wise man is my father - all blessings don't come in financial means," Newton said. "So for me, if I do what I'm supposed to do, everything else will take care of itself."

Newton is looking to improve in areas that go beyond being just a quarterback.

"I have to have endurance like a wide receiver, I have to have the physical toughness of a running back, and just the intuitiveness and being cerebral like a quarterback," he said. "I wouldn't call myself a quarterback, I'd call myself a football player."

The signal-caller added he admires "the culture of the Patriots" as it's been "therapeutic" to him and has challenged his growth.

Newton, the 2011 first overall pick, was released in March by the Panthers with one season left on a five-year, $103.8-million extension he inked in 2015. He was named league MVP and led Carolina to the Super Bowl later that season.

Newton on 10th NFL season: 'It's not about money, it's about respect'
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