Cam Newton: 'Saints are good guys'

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton seemed to have mixed emotions when he learned he was the target of a bounty program by the New Orleans Saints in his rookie season.

"It caught me by surprise. But with me knowing some of the guys on the Saints, I know they are good guys," Newton said. "So you can't really believe all what the media makes of it. But it's still, 'Golly, why is this being mentioned?' Like they say, where there's smoke there's fire. But I just can't understand it."

But Newton also admitted he was concerned that an opponent would try to intentionally injure him. Newton said that kind of thing can end a career.

"And if you take those joints, those ligaments away by taking a cheap shot, it's bigger than one little, 'Yes, we took down their starting quarterback,'" Newton said. "This quarterback can't even throw no more because you took a late hit on him. Yeah, it's 15 yards. But you're limiting this guy's whole career."