As the NFL season continues, sidelined former star QB Cam Newton is still campaigning to return to the gridiron.
“Superman” published a nearly six-minute video monologue on the vaccine to his YouTube channel on Sunday. The free agent revealed that he is vaccinated against COVID-19 and wants to keep playing high-level football.
“Let Me In Now” — Nelly
The video comes a day after NFL Media reported the former MVP still has his sights set on playing,
“Hell yeah, I still want to play football,” Newton said in Sunday’s video. “I still get that urge to go out and perform and do something that I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”
The New England Patriots released the 32-year-old shortly before the season. He had missed three practices due to what the Patriots called a COVID-19 protocol “misunderstanding.”
Question: Was Cam Newton’s vaccination status a factor in his release?
Bill Belichick: “No. Look, you guys keep talking about that …” pic.twitter.com/JPGsUghVVK
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 1, 2021
However, coach Bill Belichick said Newton’s vaccination status didn’t factor into releasing the quarterback. Rookie QB Mac Jones took the helm in Newton’s stead.
Setting The Record Straight
The 2015 MVP revealed that he has been getting offers from interested NFL teams. However, the situation “has to be right” before Newton makes a choice.
Newton also said he was initially reluctant to get vaccinated because “the side effects weren’t beneficial to me.” He added that he still believes receiving the vaccine is “a personal decision.” It comes when professional athletes, mainly in basketball, are being scrutinized for their vaccination stances.
If it doesn’t prevent you from getting it and only decreases an individual’s chance of getting hospitalized, why would Cam Newton’s (or any other players) vaccination status change how teams value him? Test positive not participating vaccinated or not.
— Cody (@tweets_by_cody) October 16, 2021
Newton had held the starting QB position for the New England Patriots since 2020. However, he hasn’t taken the field since then. Newton started 15 games for the Patriots in 2020 but hasn’t played an entire season since 2017. He missed all but two games due to injury in 2019 and also finished 2018 on injured reserve.
Newton himself has taken to YouTube to confirm he’s now vaccinated for COVID-19, wants to resume his career, and is “getting offers” from around the league.
What’s The Science?
The former Panthers star missed practice in the days leading up to his departure from New England due to an apparent misunderstanding of COVID protocols.
Newton dealt with a bout of COVID-19 during his lone season with the Patriots.
“A man gotta do what a man gotta do,” Newton said while filming himself entering his vaccination appointment. Newton also cautioned viewers only to keep themselves as the focus when considering getting vaccinated.
However, Newton did admit that his vaccination status has likely improved his odds of returning to the NFL.
Cam Newton watching his "there ain't 32 dudes better than me" comment get validated by Sam Darnold’s 0.0 QB rating pic.twitter.com/e2v630RfWh
— Morgan (@cocomorii) October 17, 2021
“Being a free agent, touching uncharted waters, and the No. 1 question, rightfully so is, ‘Is Cam vaccinated?'” Newton said. He also adamantly downplayed the idea that teams aren’t interested in signing him anyway.
“That’s a lie. I’ve been getting offers. It has to be right.”
The Washington Football Team’s QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is still on injured reserve with a hip issue. WFT’s current coach, Ron Rivera was the primary coach during Newton’s NFL career with the Carolina Panthers. The two went to a Super Bowl together in 2015.
However, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Focus, Washington has no plans to bring Newton into the mix.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Washington Football Team isn’t there yet with Newton. If Fitzpatrick is out, Taylor Heinecke becomes the starter and Kyle Allen becomes the backup.”
Newton’s career is still in limbo, but the fact remains that he is passionate about football and wants back in.