Cam Newton took the unusual step of publishing a YouTube video in which he speaks to his father about events behind the scenes that led up to his surprising release from the New England Patriots. Say what you want about the man but few MVP quarterbacks if ever have had the same type of bold editorial flair.
The thrust of his perceived narrative is that he could have, and would have been willing to serve as Mac Jones' backup in Bill Belichick's quest to even the score with Tom Brady but that in doing so he would have been a distraction. It was a honest and self-reflective thing to say. Newton understands who he is and who he isn't. At his very core, he is not someone who can recede quietly into the background and hold a clipboard like some sort of Charlie Whitehurst.
I agreed with everything he said. So does the NFL's Ian Rapoport, who spoke about the post today on NFL Network.
It's not an insult to Newton to point out that players in a locker room, especially the younger ones, continue to see him and remember what he once was in this league. Jones can be spectacular in his rookie year but even the best-case scenarios have his ceiling as an individual lower than the one Newton raised while in Charlotte. Every person on a roster comes with their share of positives and challenges. Cam the role player and glue guy is a tough transition for all involved.
Breaking up the band was ultimately best for all involved and with Newton's ability to win important football games as a starter still very much present, one hopes he gets another opportunity to succeed.