2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton admitted he was surprised by the sudden release from the New England Patriots. Newton was expected to be the Patriots' starting quarterback in Week 1 but he got cut and the Patriots named rookie Mac Jones as their starting quarterback.
"Did it catch me by surprise being released? Absolutely," Newton said in a video released Friday morning. Newton claims he Jones would have been uncomfortable with him as his mentor. "Let me be honest with you.
If they would have asked me, 'Cam, we're going to give the team to Mac, you're going to be second-string; we expect you to be everything and some to guide him throughout this tenure,' I would have said, 'Absolutely,'" Newton said.
"But listen, the truth of the matter is this: He would have been uncomfortable."
Newton suspected something bad could happen
"That time with me finding out [about the release] and kind of seeing things different, when 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. "Even though I was starting, that doesn't necessarily mean nothing. "I think that's where they did a good job with kind of disguising it: 'Cam took first-team reps today.'
But [media members] didn't know the practice structure. The first-team goes down, the second team goes back, and then the first team comes back, too. And that's when [Jones] was getting his first-team reps." After being notified that Jones would be the starting quarterback, Newton felt comfortable with being the backup -- but then he received the shock news.
"[Patriots senior football adviser] Matt Patricia was there, Bill was there, and we greeted each other and just started talking," Newton said. "At that time they told me they were going to give the reins to Mac.
I was like, 'Cool.' It didn't dawn on me, 'Y'all releasing me?' I was confused. We all were shocked. It was all uncomfortable for everybody. ".. The reason why they released me is because, indirectly, I was going to be a distraction, without being a starter.
Just my aura. That's my gift and my curse. When you bring Cam Newton into your facility [and] your franchise, people are interested by mere fact of 'Who is he? Why does he wear his hair? Why does he talk? Why does he act? Why does he perform?' All these questions."