New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton played below his expectations this season but acknowledged that it's too early too tell if he would accept a backup role for the next season. Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, played this season on a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the Patriots.
This season, Newton threw for 2657 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions as the Patriots went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2008. "Honestly, it's too early to tell. That's as honest as I can be," Newton said Monday in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI in
Boston, per ESPN.
"Do I think I have starting talent? Absolutely. Do I think a lot of things that I've done were devalued? Not the team's perspective, probably the media's perspective -- absolutely."
Newton absolutely prefers to be a starter
In his first season with the Patriots, Newton had his struggles and few times he was pulled out of the game for backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick always spoke positively of Newton and gave him credit for working extremely hard and giving his best to help the team win. "I know out of 32 guys, I'm not the 32 position rank.
So you have to also understand, I'm a competitor first. I know what my skill set is, I know what my talent is. I understand that if given the opportunity, there is nobody better than me. That's how I'll always feel.
I have to also feel realistic about the opportunity that is presented as well," Newton said in the radio interview. "If you are asking me, Do I want to be a backup? Hell no! When I look at other teams, and I'm looking at other players play, there have been guys that have been getting away with murder for years because of subpar play.
Do I have the right to say that with the year I had this year? No. But I'm going to be honest and say it because that's what I do." Newton didn't impress on the field this year but finally managed to stay healthy during season.
"Through it all, my shoulder held up, foot held up, mental held up," Newton said. "I had nicks and bruises, but who doesn't have any nicks and bruises in the NFL? Nothing lingering enough to stop me. I'm going to take that as a blessing and do it in the offseason."