Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has called the NFL’s officiating into question after some of the hits he’s taken this year in the pocket.
It earned him a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday, where he claimed he was being treated differently than other quarterbacks, via David Newton of ESPN.com.
On Friday, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was asked if he ever experienced anything like what Newton is going through, via ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia:
No, I don’t feel that way. I just try to play smart football. I think I’ve said this before, but if I didn’t want to play football, if I didn’t want to get hit, I’d be playing tennis. That’s just one of those things — you know you’re going to get hit, and you know you’re going to take some tough hits every once in a while, and you have to hang in there. At the same time, it’s a rough game, and you always want to make a smart decision and get down, get out of bounds.
However, Wilson hadn’t followed Newton’s complaints, which pertained to play just inside the pocket: "I haven’t seen his particular situation. Honestly, I try to stay away from watching ESPN and all that, but I know for me—trying to get down, slide, get out of bounds, all of that, because those guys are chasing after you."
Newton voiced his concerns after the Panthers’ 30-20 win against the Arizona Cardinals, which helped get his meeting with Goodell, via Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer:
Cam Newton says uncalled late hits on him are "bullcrap" and are taking fun out of game 4 him; doesn’t feel safe; wants to talk to Goodell. pic.twitter.com/GJ1pPeLEny
— scott_fowler (@scott_fowler) October 30, 2016
Former vice president of officiating and Fox analyst Mike Pereira broke down one of the questionable hits:
This hit on Cam Newton should have been a penalty. pic.twitter.com/VA8Q3ooTvy
— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) October 30, 2016
Wilson hasn’t seen much of that kind of punishment. Per Kapadia, he’s drawn just one roughing-the-passer penalty in 2016.
If he ever were to draw the same kind of ire that Newton claims to be getting without punishment, then Wilson might rethink the league’s officiating.