The year 2020 was a difficult one, to say the least, and that includes New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton.
He came to a new team late in free agency, had a bout with COVID-19 early in the season, spent a lot of time away from his kids and also didn't play to the level that many expected from him on the field.
Through all of that, what did Newton learn about himself during this tough year?
"I'm a mentally tough SOB, bro," Newton said. "Injuries. That's kind of tough to get over. The late free agency. That was tough. COVID, you mentioned. And even the success. Those are all ones that you kinda look back and say, yeah, that could've been better, but the one for me is my kids. It's my children. Any father, any mother who's on this call right now -- to go without talking to your kids or your family, that's everything."
Newton also admitted that while 2020 has been challenging in a lot of ways, he believes the adversity has made him a better person.
"For me, I've learned to be optimistic through it all, and I've learned to be optimistic especially through these trials and tribulations because at times during this year, it was like, 'God. What is it? What are you doing? What are you trying to tell me?" Newton said. "Like, what am I not doing?'
"And yeah, having to wake up at certain amount of times and leaving the facilities at certain amount of times and still not having the success you want to have, it teaches you resiliency. It teaches you patience. It teaches you to have faith and understanding that, listen, sooner or later, you're going to get a break. I'm not looking for no handouts. It's just more or less for me to just say, 'Bruh, damn. Finally.' Right?
"And 2020, man I'm about to sign, seal. I'm about to tie this year up and put a big knot on it. I can buy every single lock and key and throw away all of them. I don't want to see no part of 2020, but it made me a better person. That, I do believe."
Newton's mindset for Sunday's game against the New York Jets -- which could be his final matchup as a Patriot -- is one that everyone, whether you're a NFL player or a regular person, can get behind as the calendar turns to a new year.
"Start 2021 off in a winning fashion."