Cam Newton 'healthy,' says he can still play at high level as he approaches free agency

1:03 PM

As he approaches free agency, Carolina's quarterback doesn't know if he'll be with the team or another, but he believes he can play at a high level.

After completing his second go-round at Carolina, the quarterback said he was healthy. I know what I have to do. The question can be directed at, 'Do you think I can still play?' Yes. I think I can play. At a high level.

He didn't rule out being a backup in 2022. It's all about being with a team that can win, says the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player. League sources told ESPN that it's possible thatNewton won't return to Carolina, which finished 5-12 this season.

The only quarterback under contract for Carolina next season is Sam Darnold, and the team is expected to be active in the quarterback market, whether it's in free agency, trade or the draft.

He lost eight of his last nine starts and was 4-7 as the starter.

"I'm not coming back for no 5-12 at this point in time,'' he said. I can tell you that now. I'm with it if it's about winning. I won't hitch my wagon to it if it's not.

The last seven games were losses and the last 15 were victories. The team that made him the top pick in the 2011 draft, the one that took Sam Darnold, put him back on the field after he was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

After starting the first five games of the season,Newton went 0-5 and was replaced by Sam Darnold, who started the final two games and finished the season with He had 47 yards and five touchdown.

It was difficult being on the sideline when healthy.

"Nice!" "Newton said that." I wasn't used to that. I made a joke to DJ Moore. I'm not sure if my body feels right. My toes are going to sleep. At this point in time, I'm a team player.

The coach received some criticism for allowing the quarterback to run a fourth-and-inches play in the second quarter of the game. The quarterback sneak has been considered a "bread-and-butter'' play by many.

At this point in time, it was irrelevant to what he thought about that decision. He said that his skill set is better than just a fourth-and-inches person.

The decision to return to the team that released him prior to the 2020 season was the right one, according to the quarterback.

He's had good things to say about Rhule, who moved on fromNewton before his first season at Carolina.

As you meditate and find out about yourself, you don't know why you're going through it. I don't know the whole synopsis of everything. It was necessary for me to come back. I think I got some sort of closure for a lot of things. It was important for my life and career. I learned a lot about myself. It was meant to be.

He said his return was therapeutic, but he doesn't know what's next.

He said that he had proved to the people that he was worth it. I don't know what that looks like, just a day removed from the season.

Do I want to play football? Yeah. But under the right conditions.