Newton: Mac Jones would have been 'uncomfortable' if I was his backup
Former New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton believes he wasn't kept as a backup because it would have been uncomfortable for rookie signal-caller Mac Jones.
"The reason that they released me is because indirectly, I was going to be a distraction without being the starter," Newton said Friday on a video streamed to his YouTube channel, according to NESN's Zack Cox. "Just my aura. That’s my gift and my curse."
"I would have said, ‘Absolutely (to being Jones' backup).’ But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable,” he added.
Newton said his presence as a backup would be distracting if the Patriots struggled. However, he expressed confidence that New England will win with Jones under center.
The 2015 MVP's release was shocking to the rest of the NFL. Newton said he should have seen it coming based on practice reps.
"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, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe. "Even though I was starting, that doesn’t necessarily mean nothing, and that’s where they did a good job of disguising it."
Jones took command of the Patriots' practices leading up to Newton's release after the veteran was forced to miss five days due to COVID-19 protocols following a team-approved medical appointment. Newton believes he would have been released even without missing time.
"Do I think this would have happened without me being away from the team for five days? Honestly, yes. It was going to happen," Newton said. "Did it help ease the decision? Yes."
The 32-year-old said he doesn't plan to retire and has a lot of football left in him.
"I said it once, and I’ll say it again: There’s not 32 guys that’s better than me," Newton said.
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