Cam Newton doesn't intend to end his NFL career on this sour note.
Prior to the Patriots' Week 15 loss to the Miami Dolphins that eliminated them from playoff contention, The MMQB's Albert Breer suggested on "Patriots Postgame Live" that Newton may consider retirement if he doesn't return to New England in 2021.
When asked Monday morning if retirement is on the table, however, Newton responded definitively.
"No, I'm not there," the Patriots quarterback told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." "One of my goals this year, for what it's worth, was just to finish the year healthy. This year God has granted and gave me the opportunity to have a healthy season.
" ... I still have a lot of football left and I still want to play football and I have the urge to be better."
Newton is enduring one of his worst NFL seasons as a passer, averaging just 183.2 yards per game with five touchdown passes, 10 interceptions and a 79.6 passer rating.
But from a health standpoint, 2020 has been a success for the 31-year-old quarterback, who played just two games for the Carolina Panthers last season due to a foot injury but has played in 13 of 14 contests this year, missing one game due to COVID-19.
Newton becomes a free agent next spring and will turn 32 in May. Based on his body of work this season, the former NFL MVP may have to battle for a roster spot in 2021 (whether in New England or elsewhere) and he may decide that's not worth it after 10 NFL seasons.
At this point, though, it sounds like Newton is willing to work for his job next year rather than leave it.