In 2019, I hit a home run when I wrote a scouting report on quarterback (QB) Cam Newton.
Newton is done. He should have stuck to his convictions and not gotten vaccinated, because that is not why he is not in the NFL any longer. Newton is not in the league because he is no longer good enough to start, and he is too much of a distraction to be anything else.
I worked on staff with Bill Belichick with the Jets, and I was frankly very surprised New England ever signed him last year. I got in a heated exchange with my scouting mentor after the signing. He tried telling me Newton would win 11 games for Belichick. I said the guy will win 5. The Patriots finished 7-9.
It was all on film in Carolina in 2019. His arm was dying. I gave him a (C) grade back then – – meaning he was very average looking. Newton was still the same guy with the swag and all that, but once a quarterback’s arm starts to go….
I did not see Cam Newton as a fit whatsoever in New England, and to me it was Belichick’s most questionable signing since he became the head coach there.
Newton comes off quirky as hell, and once his former head coach Ron Rivera passed on him in Washington, that should have told everybody what they needed to know. Rivera wanted nothing to do with adding that funky energy to his roster. Adding Newton to a roster is like pouring Sour Patch Kids over the top of Thanksgiving dinner.
I never was a fan of Newton’s to begin with even when he was coming out of college. It takes a lot more than raw talent for me. I did not at all like what I saw in his eyes, the first time I saw him in an interview on television. I did not even know anything else about him. I did not even know who he was at the time. What I saw in his eyes just did not resonate with me whatsoever.
I understand he found success in Carolina, I just personally never would have selected him if I was pulling the trigger. I would not even have him on my draft board, and just because he had some success means nothing to me.
My scouting mentor, who has three rings from New England, told another NFL team scouting director in my presence when Newton was coming out, “Cam Newton is the best player I have seen since Bo Jackson.” I looked at him from the passenger seat. I did not say it, but I remember feeling really surprised he would say that.
I was a kid who wore a Washington Doug Williams’ jersey. I know great quarterbacks when I see them and I was never impressed by Cam Newton. He was showy and he thought he was superman. I never bought in and I still do not.
For my money, Newton backing down on his convictions about the vaccine recently is the final period in his career. If a quarterback and a leader can not stand on their convictions, they cease to be a leader.
Newton was able to get that one more stop out of the deal just exactly like I predicted before it ever happened, but now it is over.
I am not getting the vaccine Cam, and I want another chance in the NFL too.
That is just really disappointing you caved Cam – – really disappointing. There is a lot more at stake than a paycheck or even football.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.