Cam Newton was thrown for a big loss - blindsided, really - and he was miles and miles from a football field.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback was captured on video over the weekend trying to convince a fellow airline passenger to switch seats with him, offering US$1,500 (NZ$2,265) for a little extra legroom on a flight from Paris to the U.S.
A viral video taken by Elisara Edwards, a former football player at Colorado State who was also on the flight, shows Newton pointing to a seat that is occupied, one that appears to be in a row with no seats in front of it. The passenger in the seat shakes his head at whatever Newton is saying and the quarterback moves on toward the back of the plane, ready for that long trans-Atlantic flight.
Edwards, who now competes on NBC's "Titan Games," told CNN that he had encountered Newton in the airport and was on the same flight leaving Paris as the Carolina quarterback.
"I said hi to him, shook his hand," Edwards told CNN. As passengers boarded, he recorded Newton, and said he heard the seated passenger ask Newton his height before declining the $1,500 offer.
What on earth was Newton doing way, way back in the cabin? After all, he makes more than $20 million a year. It was a move born of necessity, radio host Andy Slater reported, because, although he'd paid for a business class seat from Paris to Charlotte, Newton missed his flight. His sole option was apparently to fly home through Dallas in economy class. Gulp.
If anyone needed extra legroom, it's probably the 6-foot-5 NFL quarterback, but why didn't Newton consider sweetening his offer with, maybe, a few tickets to a game or a bobblehead or an autograph or some of the designer swag he had sported all last week in France?
Anyway, anyone who's ever kicked the seat in front of him or her on a long flight knows Cam's pain. At least one former NFL player couldn't resist a little jab at Newton.
Newton has not commented on the video, but it looks like he had a pretty swell time in France.