Cam Newton says farewell as he joins new team: ‘I never once wanted to leave Carolina’

Cam Newton says farewell as he joins new team: ‘I never once wanted to leave Carolina’
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton looks at his left hand following a run against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on Thursday, September 12, 2019. (Source: Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Former Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton is saying “farewell” to Carolina as he joins the New England Patriots, but says he never really wanted to leave.

Newton posted a video Monday of his journey with the Carolina Panthers. The video ends with an image of his new team. “Farewell Carolina, Hello New England,” Newton tweeted.

“Right now, I’m angry, I’m just... feel let down,” Newton says in a video clip dated March 17, but posted Monday, “at the same time, I’m not bitter.” The video was apparently recorded the Tuesday the news broke of the Panthers giving Newton permission to seek a trade. Newton was released by the Panthers several days later, on March 24.

General manager Marty Hurney had met with Newton and his representation during the time, the Panthers say, to discuss the plan, signaling the end of a nine-year run in Carolina.

“I’ve known since the first day I came into this league that this day was going to come,” Newton said in his farewell video. “I have no idea what’s the next steps, but one thing about it, is with God’s grace, I know that there will be a next step.”

That next step would later become a deal with the New England Patriots.

“Don’t believe the hype,” Newton said in the March 17 video, “I never once wanted to leave Carolina ...It was their decision.”

The video displays moments during Newton’s therapy on his foot injury, which kept him sidelined for the majority of the 2019 football season. Newton suffered a Lisfranc injury in the Panther’s third preseason game against the Patriots. He played the first two games of the 2019 regular season, both losses, but then did not play again.

The Panthers placed him on injured reserve on November 5, which raised questions of why it took so long for Newton to elect to go the surgical route, the Charlotte Observer reports.

During the time of the circulating questions over Newton’s future, Tepper said that it was unknown if the Panthers would be moving on from their quarterback of nine years.

“Cam is one of the all-time greats in Panthers history,” Panthers owner David Tepper said. “If you ask any of our fans for some of their most memorable moments, I’m willing to bet that most of them would include Cam – electrifying plays, giving away footballs after touchdowns, fun celebrations and big wins. His competitiveness and drive are rare.”

Newton was chosen by Hurney in the first pick of the 2011 draft, which Hurney called “one of the distinct pleasures” of his career.

“I’m not bitter, I don’t have no hatred, I just understand that this is a business first,” Newton said in the video, as he proceeded to thank Head Coach Matt Rhule, Hurney and others affiliated with the Panthers.

Over the weekend, Newton reached an agreement to sign with the New England Patriots on a 1-year deal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. NFL Network’s Ian Rapport said the incentive-laden deal is worth $7.5 million.

“The @Patriots’ new QB…@CameronNewton,” the NFL tweeted Monday.

Newton, who turned 31 last month, will reportedly join a Patriots quarterback room that currently includes Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer and rookie Brian Lewerke. The Patriots did not draft a quarterback despite losing Tom Brady, who signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this offseason, CBS Sports reports.

The New England Patriots brought in the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player to help the team move on from three-time MVP Tom Brady, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

A former No. 1 overall pick, Newton has a 71-59-1 career record as a starting quarterback. He has thrown for 29,041 yards (completing 59.6% of his passes) with 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions.

One of the most mobile quarterbacks in league history, Newton has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry. In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in league history to throw 35 touchdowns and run for 10 scores in the same season.

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