BOSTON (CBS) — Cam Newton may be smiling from ear to ear every time he’s shown on the field during games, but make no mistake about it: the 31-year-old quarterback is all business as he engineers his personal NFL comeback.
Newton, who was released by the Panthers in March and was overlooked by the rest of the NFL for three months, knows that this opportunity in New England may be his only chance to prove he’s still worthy of being a franchise cornerstone in the NFL. As such, he’s taking his job very seriously.
The quarterback explained just how serious he is about it during his radio interview on Monday morning, when he shared that he doesn’t have any of his seven children living with him, as he is in Massachusetts on a “business trip.”
“Man, listen: I’m a person who takes anything to heart. I mean anything. And this whole decision — and not to keep beating a dead horse — this is a business trip for me,” Newton told The Greg Hill Show on WEEI. “The fact that I don’t have none of my children here in Boston with me and the fact that I haven’t been able to see them on a regularity, that’s angry in itself for me. I wake up every morning missing the hell out of my children and knowing that if I don’t do what I am supposed to do, then this could be good riddance for me.
“And that’s as serious as I am making it. And that’s as serious it is.”
Newton said he’d like to have some of his children with him, but the coronavirus pandemic makes it “kind of hard.”
“That’s one of many different things you just wake up to and you ask yourself, ‘What’s your purpose?'” Newton said. “And I’m a very family-oriented person, I’m a very hands-on dad, and the fact is people don’t realize that because they’re jaded by the outfits that I wear, they’re jaded by what I say, they’re jaded about the energy on the field, they’re jaded by just the football figure of who I am, that yet hopefully the ’86 Nights’ docuseries will kind of highlight that there’s more to me than just what you see on Sundays.”
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The quarterback was asked how he’s liked living in Boston thus far, and he said he hasn’t even had much time to explore.
“Everybody asks me that and I give pretty much the same answer, and it’s extremely true. I haven’t really been able to kind of see the city,” said Newton, who signed in late June and got right to work learning the Patriots’ playbook. “From what I do see, the traffic can be brutal. But at the end of the day, from just the ambiance that you kind of get from the lights and just seeing people out — slowly coming back out — it’s a really neat city that loves their sports. And you can’t do nothing but respect that, and everybody’s passionate. I was just so blown away by — I called myself being incognito, and even the people who you would not even think know who are you know you. And it’s just mind-blowing. So that alone, that support, is second to none.”
Newton also said that he’s seeking to not only earn the approval of NFL evaluators and coaches, but also in proving to himself that he can still play at the game’s highest level.
“I have so much to prove. I could care less about other critics, but more or less, I have so much to prove to myself,” Newton said. “You know, I see a lot of great football being played, I have seen a lot of great football being played over the time that I was injured and whatnot. You have to question yourself and question the man that you are and say, ‘Can you still play at a high level?’ So, there’s an expectation that I have for myself, and I’m trying to just meet it every single day of my life.”