While he hasn’t played in a game since 2021, Cam Newton has maintained that he still has the talent to play at a high level.
New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton (1) is shown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey, in this Aug. 29, 2021, file photo. Credit: Noah K. Murray / AP

Is Cam Newton a Hall of Famer? It wasn’t easy getting a straight answer out of him. He says he doesn’t care, but also says, “Hell yeah.”

The former New England Patriots starting quarterback hosted former NFL receiver Brandon Marshall on his “Funky Friday with Cam Newton” show last week when the topic shifted to Newton’s legacy. Marshall, now an NFL analyst for CBS, asked Newton, “Are you a Hall of Famer?”

“I don’t give a [expletive],” Newton replied.

Marshall kept pressing for an answer, asking Newton again moments later if he thought he was worthy of a gold jacket.

“Hell yeah,” Newton said this time.

Marshall asked Newton to elaborate on why he thinks that. Newton, who spent the 2020 season as the Patriots’ starting quarterback, turned to quoting Kanye West (who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021).

“I think he was Kanye who said, ‘When I first came into the league, it was only one of me. Now, when I look around and leave, I see so many me’s,” Newton said.

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Newton was referencing the way that he’d laid the foundation for quarterbacks who would come after him. Newton was the No. 1 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft and set a new standard for what athletic, dual-threat quarterbacks were capable of in the NFL, going on to win MVP honors in the 2015 season.

During his run as the star quarterback of the Panthers, Newton made three Pro Bowls, one All-Pro team and was also named Rookie of the Year in 2011.

Newton last appeared in an NFL game in 2021, when he played eight games for the Panthers as part of his second stint with the team.

While he hasn’t played in a game since 2021, Newton has maintained that he still has the talent to play at a high level, and that there are not 32 quarterbacks better than him. However, he said earlier this year that he’d only return to the field for the right situation.

Story by Nick O’Malley, MassLive.com.