Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton earned a Pro Bowl nod last year after a historic rookie season in which he ran for an NFL quarterback record 14 touchdowns. But while in Hawaii for the game, he did not earn the respect of his peers, according to CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco.
Newton's AFC opponents pressured and hit him more than the other NFC quarterbacks during the game because of his "standoffish, diva ways" throughout the weekend, Prisco writes. His actions included turning down one player's request for an autograph and picture for his kids at a function.
"He was a total a--hole," one AFC player said. "Who did he think he was? He acted like the big s--t. Here he was at his first game and he acted like he was the star. Guys didn't like that."Newton has posted similar numbers to his rookie campaign this season, including 14 touchdown passes, 524 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. But the Panthers are just 3-9 after going 6-10 last year, and Newton has been criticized for his poor body language and questionable leadership.
"Who the hell did he think they were?" said one player. "The only people around are families. He knew that. Yet he big-timed the guy by saying 'now's not the time.'"
That player said Newton did the unthinkable and even dissed Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.
"That's the godfather there," one player said. "Can you believe he did that?"
Said another player: "It didn't matter who it was, he didn't care about anybody but himself."