Cam Newton wanted his first words back as a Carolina Panther to not be about Cam Newton.
The 32-year-old quarterback returned to the team’s press conference table on Friday, a little over 24 hours from the announcement of his signing. And, while running it back with a handful of his favorite reporters from the past, he wanted to make his mission clear—that he’s here to finish the job.
“Everyone wants to make it about ‘Cam’s back,’ this, that and the third,” Newton said. “Look, you know why I’m here. And this ain’t for no ploy, this ain’t for no ticket sales, this ain’t for no Cinderella story. It’s to win football games.”
The franchise’s winningest and all-time leading passer returns to a struggling squad who has dropped five of their last six contests. Newton hopes he’s able to bring an added element that was otherwise missing in the offense and help maximize the team’s potential.
He also hopes that everyone knows this isn’t about the past either. Despite what was a messy divorce and unceremonious departure 20 months ago, there’s no reason to focus on what has already happened.
“It’s irrelevant,” Newton replied with a chuckle when asked about rehashing the release in his conversations with head coach Matt Rhule. “He told me what is expectations is. I will not share obvious reasons. And it’s my job to execute what those expectations is.
“Were there disconnects in the past? It’s irrelevant. The fact that we’re able to make what may seem like a lot of wrongs, or some wrongs, right—that’s the most exciting thing about it. And . . . to hell with feelings. It would be the biggest right and wrong by just winning football games.”
Oh, and there was one last message Newton wanted to get out . . .
“With further ado, I will say something that I’ve been wanting to say for a long time,” he said as he set up his exit. “Keep pounding.”