FOXBOROUGH, Mass — Quarterback Cam Newton spent the 2020 NFL season with the New England Patriots, and he would like to return in 2021. What he experienced with coach Bill Belichick is a big reason why.
“I think Bill Belichick is the most misunderstood person in all of sports. He’s dope as s—,” Newton said on the “I Am Athlete Podcast.”
“He is a cool dude who understands the game. He’s like a historian of the game. And for you to just sit down and chat with him, it’s like ‘Damn!’ He’s going back and he’s got film, literally teaching the game.”
Newton’s appearance on the podcast, in which he sat down with former NFL players Brandon Marshall, Fred Taylor and Chad Ochocinco, has sparked numerous headlines — starting with his view of Belichick and the Patriots’ culture.
“Bill’s not cold. Nobody on that team [has] an aura where you don’t want to be around him,” Newton said. “Everything is geared to win, and if you’re not built for that, that’s not the place for you. That’s not the place you want to lose, either. I learned that the hard way.”
In addition to Newton raving about his time with Belichick, as well as Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, he left no doubt about his desire to return to New England in 2021 after an up-and-down season in which the Patriots went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
Newton is scheduled for to be an unrestricted free agent, and asked if he would be open to coming back on a one-year deal, he said, “Yes. Hell yes! I’m getting tired of changing [teams].”
Newton added that there’s “always a chance for everything,” but when pressed if the sides are talking, he responded: “I can’t say that.”
Newton also repeated remarks from a few months ago in explaining how disruptive it was for him to be sidelined with a positive COVID-19 test in early October.
“The offense kept going and I was stopped and stagnant for a week, two weeks,” Newton said. “Then by the time I came back, it was new terminology and it was like ‘Hold on, go back to level one.'”
That’s why he thinks a return in 2021 would lead to a higher level of performance.
“I am at a point in my career where I know way more than I did last year,” he said. “You’re asking me, ‘Would I go back?’ Yes, I would go back.”