Cam Newton finished his first season with the New England Patriots in January with a 7-9 record. The team struggled during several games and missed the playoffs, creating questions among fans about Newton's future in the league. However, the former No. 1 overall pick is not yet ready to retire.
Newton appeared on the I AM ATHLETE podcast to talk about retirement speculation with former NFL stars Chad Johnson, Brandon Marshall, and Fred Taylor. He quickly shut down any rumors about walking away from the NFL after a 7-9 season. Newton also showed confidence in the abilities that helped him make him one of the league's biggest stars.
"Hell no! I can't go out like that," Newton said during the podcast appearance with his peers. "I hear all of that talk. My pride won’t allow me to do it. There aren't 32 guys better than me." He continued and reflected on the first season with the Patriots and how the lack of offseason work and missing time due to COVID-19 impacted his ability to produce on the field.
"When I came back, that's where the lack of an offseason and the lack of time being involved in a system kind of showed itself," Newton explained. He also detailed receiving the phone call about his positive coronavirus test at 5 a.m. and how he didn't feel any symptoms except for losing his sense of smell.
While Newton didn't experience fevers, chills, or any other symptoms, he still felt a little lost when he got back into the starting lineup. He said that he had issues at the line of scrimmage with the pre-snap calls. When he came back, there was new terminology, but he was still trying to learn a system that has been in place for decades in a matter of only two months.
"At the end of the day, sometimes you have to go through things in that type of manner to make you realize that you can't skip process," Newton said. "I went in there thinking like, 'Aw man, I'm here now ...But, bro, I needed time. I'll be the first person to tell you, I needed time."
Newton struggled to connect with a rotating cast of receivers during his first season in New England. He threw for 2,657 yards, eight touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 592 yards and two touchdowns, ending the season only 99 yards behind running back Damien Harris.