Cam Newton Get Up Screen grab: 4th & 1 with Cam Newton

Between multiple high profile NBA ejections and the NFL playoff race heating up, there was plenty for ESPN’s Get Up to discuss on Wednesday.

But curiously, ESPN’s morning show opted to spend multiple segments on a week-old podcast clip.

Last week, Cam Newton made his case for his former Carolina Panthers teammate and current San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey to be this year’s MVP. In doing so, the 2015 NFL MVP took the controversial stance that quarterbacks Dak Prescott, Brock Purdy, Tua Tagovailoa and Jared Goff are more “game managers” than they are “difference-makers.”

“These are game managers, they’re not difference-makers,” Newton said on his 4th & 1 with Cam Newton podcast. “If we’re really going to call a spade a spade, there’s a difference between managers of the game and difference-makers of a game. That’s not to say they can’t win the MVP, but it just is what it is.”

While the podcast containing Newton’s comments was first published on Dec. 6, for whatever reason, it took a full week for the Get Up crew to get a hold of it. The reaction, however, was worth the wait, with NFL reporter Kimberley A. Martin taking aim at Newton’s take.

“In the year of 2023 where it’s all about NFL backups, where is Cam? Not on an NFL roster, right?” Martin said. “He’s talking about all of these NFL game managers. He sounds like the people literally tweeting at me from their basement like, ‘Get back in the kitchen.’ Like you are at home, watching me. Like just turn the TV off. It just sounds so foolish.”

After former NFL wide receiver Andrew Hawkins re-worded Newton’s point into a more agreeable take, Domonique Foxworth accused the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner of trying to drum up interest in his podcast.

“He wants you to download, rate and review. He’s saying some wild stuff so he can get on Get Up,” Foxworth said. “So please do that man a favor because that’s absurd. Dak Prescot?! When he said Dak’s name, I was like, ‘He’s telling jokes right now.'”

While it may have been curiously timed, the segment at least produced some strong reactions. Apparently, the producers at Get Up agreed, as they later brought back Newton’s take for a game of “Dope or Nope?,” which the panelists used as an opportunity to roast not only the 34-year-old’s take, but also his outfit.

“The outfit pales in comparison to the nonsense he was actually talking,” Martin said.

“I actually think his nonsense is more defensible than that fit,” Foxworth replied, referring to Newton’s outfit, which consisted of overalls over a Christmas sweater. “I know that none of us know what’s cool, but I’m fairly certain that the kids ain’t rocking that.”

To Foxworth’s previous point, if Newton was fishing for engagement, then mission accomplished. Even if it came a week later than anticipated.

[4th & 1 with Cam Newton]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.