Cam Newton believe he’s still a top NFL quarterback — despite his very limited options in the league this offseason.
The former MVP is 33 years old and coming off a mediocre second go-round with the Carolina Panthers, following a mediocre season with the New England Patriots.
“There’s not 32 guys better than me,” Newton told ‘The Pivot Podcast’ in an episode that went live Tuesday. “If you think I couldn’t be on somebody’s team right now, you’re a damn fool.”
Those running NFL teams seem to disagree. As camps begin to open, only the Panthers are reportedly willing to consider his services — as a backup to Sam Darnold.
When Darnold went down with a shoulder injury last season, the team signed Newton — who had been cut by the Patriots during 2021 training camp but was the centerpiece of the Panthers’ offense from 2011-18. He scored on his first two touches, but struggled thereafter, going 0-5 with four touchdowns and five interceptions.
“I signed on Thursday. I played on Sunday,″ Newton said. “At what point did you think you was going to be successful? The next week, I started. That’s still under 10 days of you being on the team. And you’re still trying to learn the offense.
“So before I sit up here and allow the narrative to be made that Cam ain’t got it no more, Cam is taking full responsibility and saying Cam put himself in a f–ked up situation.”
He echoed the sentiment when talking about his time in New England, saying he didn’t get much of a chance to learn the offense after joining the team in June 2020. In 15 games as a starter — taking over for Tom Brady — Newton guided the Patriots to a 7-8 record, throwing for eight touchdowns and running for 12 more with 10 interceptions.
“The New England experience was a f–ked up situation,” Newton said. “I was still learning the offense seven to eight weeks into the season.”
Newton’s claims received plenty of pushback from Channing Crowder, one of the three ex-NFLers who host “The Pivot Podcast.”
“You are 33 years old,” Crowder said. “You done got old. You’re one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the world right now? Cam, I cannot accept that. I can’t accept it. I saw what you did in New England. When you went back to Carolina, I saw what happened. Like, the proof’s in the pudding.”