Patriots QB Cam Newton bids lengthy farewell to Panthers: 'I never once wanted to leave Carolina'


New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton was disappointed, but not bitter about the Carolina Panthers going in a different direction at quarterback. Newton released a lengthy farewell video Monday, in which he explained he “never once wanted to leave Carolina.”

Newton, 31, started recording the video in March, shortly after the news came out that he demanded a trade. In the video, Newton explains why he made that decision.

As Newton says, he didn’t have a choice.

“I never once wanted to leave Carolina,” Newton says. “Don’t let them make you believe. It was their decision. I stuck with it. And I knew that, so I asked for a trade.”

That’s consistent with the messaging Newton put out there around the time his trade demand went public.

Newton explains he’s not bitter about parting ways with the franchise. He understands it’s a business, and he knew this was a possibility when he first entered the league. Newton thanks prominent members of the Panthers, from new head coach Matt Rhule to general manager Marty Hurney. Newton closes out that portion of the video telling fans, “It’s all love.”

The video then transitions to a highlight package of Newton’s time with the Panthers, culminating with a thank you to the team at the 4-minute mark. The rest of the video shows Newton rehabbing his injured foot. It ends on a Patriots graphic.

Newton signed a one-year deal with the Pats on Sunday. After an offseason of uncertainty at quarterback, the Patriots are once again expected to be a force as long as Newton’s foot is fully recovered from last year’s injury.

After being selected with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Newton spent nine seasons with the Panthers. He threw 182 touchdown passes and rushed for 58 more scores. Newton was also named MVP in 2015 and made the Pro Bowl three times as a Panther.

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Originally published