One game into his career with the New England Patriots, Cam Newton already has some new rivals.
Newton and Miami Dolphins defenders got into a scuffle as the Patriots closed out a 21-11 win Sunday, and the quarterback later told reporters that Miami players went after his chain:
"I still got my chain. I got two of 'em. They were reaching for my chain, though. They were reaching for my chain. And I think that kind of got under my skin. But yeah, through it all, man listen -- I do not want nothing to be taken away from a great team game that we did have. And I don't want to be selfish to kind of focus or dwell on that. I think for us as a team, or me personally -- a lot of tempers can flare. And I was just teasing with coach, just letting him know that the College Park almost came out in me. Yet, through it all, man, it was all fun and games; and it was expected."
After Newton made an Instagram post in which he again claimed Dolphins players went after his chain, Miami's Shaq Lawson and Raekwon Davis responded.
"We don't won't that weak ass chain," Lawson wrote.
"Man ain't nobody want your fake ass chains s--t was weak anyway," Davis said.
Newton explained the importance of his chain Monday morning during an appearance on The Greg Hill Show:
"From where I am from, that's just a sign of disrespect. I am all about keeping everything within the confines of the game. ... Good thing I went to a good jeweler and got the credentials. They didn't do too much damage.
"On a serious note, it is a chain that has all of my children and their birthstone on it. You could only imagine for all the fathers that's out there any type of sign disrespect for that chain. I don't wear chains to represent my hood, which I should. I don't wear chains with thug life on it, Superman, or things like that. ...
"I am not a big person of tattoos, so I try and get anything that commemorates something that's dear to my life on something that I can wear. It's truly dear to me. So the chain that they tried to pull was the one that had each and every child that I have and their birthstones."
Newton threw for 155 yards and added 75 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in his Patriots debut. New England controlled the pace of the game throughout and only had Newton attempt 19 passes against 42 team rushing attempts.
Ground-and-pound may be the wave of the season for the Patriots after two decades of Tom Brady's stewardship. Newton brings a dimension with his legs Brady never could.
The fiery penchant for getting under opponents' skin, however, does appear to be a trait Brady and Newton share.
The Dolphins and Patriots have their second meeting of the season Dec. 20.